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Hundreds take part in brain tumour charity's annual Holkham walk


By Lynn News Reporter


Walkers enjoy the autumn sunshine (4697288)
Walkers enjoy the autumn sunshine (4697288)
Andrew and Katie Phillips, with their children Monty and Willow, travelled from Suffolk to take part in the walk (4697294)
Andrew and Katie Phillips, with their children Monty and Willow, travelled from Suffolk to take part in the walk (4697294)

Hundreds of supporters and people living with an incurable cancer turned out to take part in the 12th annual walk for the Astro Brain Tumour Fund at Holkham on Sunday.

Those who have lost loved ones to the disease, and those who have it, meet each year to remember those who have died and those who are living with a disease that has no cure.

The disease is a type of brain tumour called glioma and comprises 30 per cent of all brain tumours, and 80 per cent of all malignant tumours.

Currently, treatment can extend the lives for between five and 20 years.

The Astro fund exists to help those who have the tumour and to fund research for a cure.

Holkham’s event, which is known as the Norfolk family walk and allows people to choose from four routes, attracts up to 400 participants who walk around 2,000 miles between them.

Astro fund founder Katie Sheen, left, and treasurer Mary Burton (4697290)
Astro fund founder Katie Sheen, left, and treasurer Mary Burton (4697290)
Trustee Trevor Forecast chats to Ros Barrett who was involved with the charity from its early days (4697292)
Trustee Trevor Forecast chats to Ros Barrett who was involved with the charity from its early days (4697292)

Treasurer Mary Burton said: “We’ve raised around £100,000 in the last eleven years. It is a walk that has captured the minds of many others involved with the disease and is now replicated hundreds of times around the world.

Among those at the event was Katie Sheen, who founded the charity when her sister’s husband, Paul, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2000. He died the following year, aged just 35.

She said: “You can feel alone when you are fighting cancer. But when you can come to an event like this and connect with other people you realise you are not alone.”

Also involved from the early days of the charity was treasurer Mary Burton's sister, Ros Barrett, from Wacton, south of Norwich. Her daughter, Gemma, aged 25, suffered a massive fit one day in class. "She was a geography teacher, a job she absolutely adored. " Gemma was given a maximum five year life span at the age of 25 and lived until she was 29.

As with all diseases an astro brain tumour is no respecter of age.

Walkers Neville and Lesley Tilson, from Lynn, lost a grandson, Kye at the age of nine, while Paul and Linda Lewis, who walked five miles and cycled the rest lost a son, aged three-and-a-half.

Neville and Lesley Tilson, with baby Polly and daughters Lilly Tilson and Claire English (4697296)
Neville and Lesley Tilson, with baby Polly and daughters Lilly Tilson and Claire English (4697296)
Layla Bartlett tries her hand a marble game (4697298)
Layla Bartlett tries her hand a marble game (4697298)
Volunteer Peter Goddard begins to total up the total of miles walkers covered (4697300)
Volunteer Peter Goddard begins to total up the total of miles walkers covered (4697300)

Mrs Lewis said: “He actually walked whilst he was having treatment.”

The walk attracts many family groups. Some children 'walk' their mile on scooters and others take to their bikes. There are four walks: one, three six and ten miles.

The shortest walk finishes at a games' station in Holkham Park where children can compete for prizes in either a netball or marble game. The longest leaves the park grounds and takes in nearby Wells-next-the-Sea.

To learn more about the charity email treasurer@astrofund.org.uk.



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