Downham Market duo set to reach halfway mark of 250-mile walk for Heather Bellamy today
Two Downham residents are set to reach the halfway mark of a 250-mile walk from their workplace to Cardiff today to support Heather Bellamy.
Chris Heyes and Andy Lucraft-Townley were waved off by friends, family, and Heather herself as they left Arbuckles on Friday, and will have walked 125 miles by the time they reach Bourton-on-the-Water later today.
The pair have taken on the challenge to fundraise for former nurse Heather who has a rare type of leukaemia and has exhausted the treatment available through the NHS.
The Hope for Heather appeal is hoping to raise £250,000 to allow her to travel to America, where a potentially life-saving treatment is available.
Heather has thanked Chris and Andy for taking on this “huge fundraiser”.
She said: “I know their feet are sore and their legs are hurting but every step is also a step closer to me getting potentially life-saving treatment that the NHS cannot fund or give to me.
“I’d also like to thank their families and my brother-in-law Matty for helping get the heavy bags to them at their next stops.”
So far, they have gathered more than £10,000 – £5,000 of which was donated by former Arbuckles owner John Murphy who matched the funds they had already raised.
A cheque for the £5,000 from ‘The Murphys and Arbuckles families’ was presented to Heather ahead of the first leg of their walk to Chatteris on Friday.
They have spent the days since travelling to Tilbrook, Northampton and Banbury, ahead of their trek to Bourton-on-the-Water today.
Chris said: “The first four days have been extremely gruelling. We have suffered both mentally and physically but just knowing the reason that we are doing this is what is keeping us going.”
He said they “couldn’t have got this far” without help from Louise Page, Max Lincoln and Matty Ryan who have dropped off their bags at various destinations along the route.
Over the next five days, they will head to Cardiff via Cainscross, Almondsbury, Newport and Pontypridd.
Chris and Andy, who chose to walk to the Welsh capital due to its links with Mr Murphy’s son Josh, who plays for its Premier League football club, are due to arrive at Cardiff on Sunday.
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/chris-and-andy-head-to-cardiff.