Over £120,000 has been raised for the Royal United Hospitals (RUH), Bath by the walkers who took part in the Walk of Life event organised by The Forever Friends Appeal, the primary fundraising charity for the hospital. The total raised so far is a record amount compared to previous years.
This year, 500 people walked from Bishops Cannings to Bath along the Kennet and Avon canal. Participants chose to walk either the ten mile distance from Bradford on Avon to Bath or the full 26.2 mile marathon to raise vital funds for The Forever Friends Appeal.
Local Bath resident, Justine Elliott, aged 50 took part in this year’s Walk of Life event and has raised an incredible amount – £20,345 for the Appeal. To-date, this is the largest amount raised by an individual who has taken part in the Walk of Life. Justine Elliott said, “In 2016, the week before Christmas I was diagnosed with cancer and given between six and 18 months to live. When I got the diagnosis I was at stage 4 and was told its terminal. It was truly a life changing time for me, my family and friends. However, it provided an opportunity for me to help others and focus on leaving a legacy that I would feel proud of.
“Since the diagnosis, I’ve had chemotherapy, lifesaving surgery and several procedures at the RUH, and I would like to pay back the kindness that the staff and community have shown me. That’s why I’ve chosen to raise funds for the hospital’s new Cancer Centre.”
On the day of the Walk of Life, Justine was joined by a number of her friends and family members, some of which came to join her from all over the world to support her with every step. Justine said, “My goal was to raise £25,000 for the Walk of Life. Come the day I completed the ten mile walk I had already used five months of my journey time. Ten miles may not seem much to some of you, but after five rounds of chemo it felt like a marathon to me. I was pleased to have achieved it, and I’d like to thank everyone; my friends and family who have helped me towards reaching my target. But, I still want to raise the final amount to reach my goal. Although I may not be here to see the new Cancer Centre built and open for patients, I know that everyone who passes through its doors will benefit immensely from it.”
The new Cancer Centre which will be built at the RUH’s Combe Park site will be a state-of-the-art facility for cancer diagnosis and treatment, transforming care for patients and their families. The Forever Friends Appeal is raising a minimum £8.5m towards the cost of the new Cancer Centre, an estimated at £28 million.
Emily Lynch, Events and Community Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said, “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took part this year, whether you walked the marathon or 10 miles, you have helped to transform care for patients and their families at the RUH with every step. Donations are still trickling in from the event and we’d like to urge people to send theirs in if they haven’t already. We are especially grateful to Justine for her incredible fundraising for the new Cancer Centre at the hospital – she is truly inspirational.”
To find out more about the RUH Cancer Centre and donate towards its fundraising campaign visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/ruhcancercentre. People interested in helping Justine reach her £25,000 goal can make a donation via her Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/justineelliott.