Congratulations and a huge thank you to Alex Woods for successfully completing his 184-mile, 8-day Thames Path walk on behalf of Cherry Lodge Cancer Care. This was a huge achievement for Alex – and it is not too late to show your support!
Alex’s JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheThamesTrek will stay open for several weeks after the end of his walk. Alex set himself the ambitious fundraising total of £10,000 and by Wednesday 21st September his 157 sponsors had pledged a wonderful £8,258 (plus £1,642 GiftAid). Thank you from Alex and Cherry Lodge to everyone who has made a donation.
Alex embarked on this fundraising challenge as a way of saying thank you to Cherry Lodge for the support received during the illness of his wife, Ann Marie. The couple have been living in High Barnet for four years and have two boys – Charlie, 5, and Alex, 2 – and a black pug called Buddha. Alex works in the production team of a microbrewery in Tottenham and Anne Marie is a GP in Camden.
Please take a few moments to read their story:
“In August 2015 our world was turned upside down when my darling wife – Ann-Marie – was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, aged only 32. To say that this past year has been tough for her, and for all of us, would be a massive understatement. Coming on for a year later, Ann-Marie has finally finished the gruelling schedule of treatment at the Royal Marsden – five months of chemotherapy and a month of daily radiotherapy – and is back at work. I am so proud of her…
To make it to this stage, we have had to tap into reserves we didn’t even know we had, hold on hard to each other and to the boys, and sometimes rely heavily on family and friends. We were also fortunate enough to be able to call on Cherry Lodge Cancer Care for additional support; it is a truly amazing place that we have been extremely lucky to live only walking distance away from.”
You can read more about Alex’s feat and see more photos in the reports posted by him on his JustGiving page while his walk was in progress. Here on the Cherry Lodge website we are giving only a brief description.
Alex set out from the source of the Thames at Trewsbury Mead, Gloucestershire (see photo 1, below) on Saturday 3rd September 2016 and reached Lechlade by the end of the first day. Further night stops were made at Swinford, Dorchester, Reading, Cookham, Chertsey and Putney. The path passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country before reaching the sights of London. (In case you are wondering, photo 4, below, shows Alex crossing under the M25!)
Alex enjoyed having company on several days of the walk – including his father and brother from Chertsey to Putney (see photo 5), and, then on the final day, for his last push through London, he was joined by a larger group of friends and family. Thank you to all of them from Alex and from Cherry Lodge Cancer Care for turning out to support him and us. The group arrived at the Thames Barrier on schedule at around 4pm on Saturday 10th September – where Alex was happily reunited with Ann-Marie and their children.
Two days after completing his walk, Alex told us that he was “feeling pretty exhausted at the moment but with a warm glow of satisfaction at having made it. It was a real adventure and I’m just so glad that it has even got close to my fundraising target!”
The sum raised by Alex is already fantastic and greatly appreciated – but might you be able to help him reach or even pass his ambitious £10,000 target?
Click on the small images below to see larger, complete photographs.