A GROUP of mums with children at Bentworth Primary School will be taking part in the London Moon Walk in May to raise money to combat breast cancer.
Denise Beard, Julie Gray, Sara Varo, Emily-Jane Messenger and Emma Evans have taken on the challenge to power walk either the ‘Half Moon’ (13.1 miles) or ‘Full Moon’ (26.2 miles) through the streets of the capital at midnight on May 14, sporting colourful bras and in a united effort to raise awareness and money to support the fight against the killer disease.
The hardy quintet all have personal reasons for putting themselves through the agonies of aching limbs and blisters.
Sara said: “I lost my father to cancer at a young age. He never got the chance to see me and his other children grow up or meet his grandchildren.”
And Julie added: “My step-mother is currently battling breast cancer and going through hell in the process, the chemo alone is horrific. Her doctors are confident they have caught it in time, due to early diagnosis. She was able to recognise the warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
“The cancer charities have done a great job of raising awareness and this really does help save lives.”
Emily-Jane said: “I guess you could say I have been lucky, I’ve only ever had pets die and an elderly grandparent well into her 80s.
“However, all that changed this year when a close family friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and two parents in my daughter’s class have also been given the devastating news that they have the disease.
“In fact, over the last couple of weeks my own son, who is just five years old, has been having investigations into a lump in his mouth. Thankfully, the doctors are pretty sure it is just a rare cyst and not anything more sinister. We are currently waiting to see a specialist who will run more tests.
“However, these past weeks have been agonising. As a parent you can’t help but worry about the worst possible outcome.”
And she added: “I think all this going on over the last couple of months has been a real wake-up call. Cancer seems to be all around us, it does not care who it affects or takes from our lives. This is the reason behind our motivation to challenge ourselves like never before, we desperately want to help fight against cancer in some small way.”
The training alone is already proving a challenge for the five-woman team, with tough walks and blisters the size of eggs to prove it, and there have been times when they have all wanted to quit, but the plight of those friends and family members who are at this moment fighting the disease has spurred them on.
“They can’t just quit and call a taxi to take them home,” said Emily-Jane. “That is the motivation that is spurring us on.”
To help with their fundraising efforts the team is staging an over-18s ‘band night to fight breast cancer’ at Bentworth School Hall next Saturday, March 19, featuring Julie Gray and her band Stone Gecko, along with Joe Murrell.
There will be a cash bar and ‘Hitchies’ burger van will be turning up to provide sustenance for the concertgoers.
Running from 8pm to midnight, tickets, priced £5, are available by calling Julie on 07703 020155 or e-mailing [email protected].
The intrepid walkers have to raise minimum sponsorship of £100 each to take part in the London Moon Walk.
To sponsor the ladies online visit moonwalklondon2016.everydayhero.com/uk/emily-jane, moonwalklondon2016.everydayhero.com/uk/julie-16, moonwalklondon2016.everydayhero.com/uk/sara-1, and moonwalklondon2016.everydayhero.com/uk/denise-11.