A FORMER cancer patient pulled on his hiking boots at the weekend to trek from Oxford to Swindon to raise cash for Brighter Futures.
Accompanied by friends and family, 65-year-old Coleview man Peter Mainwaring walked the 30 miles from Oxford’s Churchill Hospital to the Great Western Hospital last weekend.
He chose the route to symbolise the journey he and others have to make each day for radiotherapy treatment.
Peter said: “Some of the people who came along, myself included, were quite nervous beforehand as they hadn’t walked that far before. But we were all looking forward to meeting the challenge.
“We were lucky because the weather was good. The forecast hadn’t been great but it remained dry during the whole walk.
“We started at 7am on Saturday and got to the Great Western Hospital at 7.15pm, which was pretty much what I expected.”
Joining Peter on the walk was his son Neil Mainwaring and his brother Steve, his daughter Kate Mularczyk and Kate’s friends Emma and Steve Trimby and Phil Roussell.
Setting off from the Churchill Hospital, the happy band of merry marchers walked through the centre of Oxford and through Christ Church Meadows and past the Oxford Brooks University campus
They then proceeded through Appleton and Longworth and over the A420 before eventually coming out at Wanborough and continuing to the GWH.
“We all enjoyed it, it was a really great day,” said Peter.
“I was elated when we finally got to the GWH. The last seven or eight miles were the hardest, everybody was suffering during that last bit. A few of us still have blisters on our feet.
“With my own experience of having to travel to Oxford for treatment, I know it’s a huge commitment in time and expense. Our aim is to get this radiotherapy unit as soon as possible so people don’t have to make that journey in the future.”
In 2015, Peter was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which meant he had to make 37 trips to Oxford from his home in Coleview. He travelled more than 2,500 miles during his treatment and is committed to ensuring nobody else has to go through that arduous journey.
Peter and the gang manage to raise more than £7,500 from the walk.
A proud Peter said: “We completely eclipsed anything I had in mind when I thought the idea up and we had donations from people who had to make that journey themselves.”
He also wished to issue a big thank you to Isambard school who’s PE teacher Natalie Chapman drove the hikers to Oxford in the school’s minibus on Saturday morning.
So far £1,500,000 has been raised for Brighter Futures. The team is very grateful for every single donation and wish to thank everyone for their support. To donate you can send cut out and send in the attached form or log on to: www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk.