Striding ahead in aid of South Yorkshire cancer victims

Walkers during the Rush to Walk event.

Walkers during the Rush to Walk event.

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Hundreds of people braved the bad weather to complete a series of sponsored walks to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

The ninth annual Rush to Walk, held in memory of three women who died of cancer, attracted more than 200 walkers for the hike around Rotherham on Sunday, May 3.

he Mayor and Mayoress of Rotherham Cllr John Foden and Mrs Foden with Gillian Headon, centre.

he Mayor and Mayoress of Rotherham Cllr John Foden and Mrs Foden with Gillian Headon, centre.

The event has raised more than £100, 000 in total for local good causes in the last decade, and the latest event is expected to have raised an additional £9000.

Hairdresser Gillian Headon, 56, of Mexborough, was inspired to launch the event in memory of her nurse pal Sandra Rush, of Conisbrough, who died of breast cancer in 2002 aged 44.

Friend Lynn Wilson, a teaching assistant from Conisbrough, also died of pancreatic cancer aged 54 in 2012. Fellow pal Dorothy Weir, 74, from Swinton, lost her cancer battle in June last year.

Mrs Headon said: “It went really well, everyone had a smile on their faces despite the bad weather.

Walkers during the Rush to Walk event.

Walkers during the Rush to Walk event.

“It was raising but then the sun came out and it was a really nice day. It just shows the determination and commitment people have to still turn up even when it is a wet, rainy day.”

She added: “I don’t think you ever really get over losing someone to cancer, you just learn to live with it. Events like this keep their memory alive.

“I was thinking about all three of them during the walk and it drove me on.”

Fellow walker Julie Redgate, 52, of Sheffield, said: “It is a fabulous event. Gillian and the volunteers put a lot of work into making the event happen every year. They deserve a lot of credit because a lot of people ebenfit from it.”

Walkers during the Rush to Walk event.

Walkers during the Rush to Walk event.

Moira Wesley, 57, of Conisbrough, who is Sandra Rush’s sister-in-law, added: “I think everyone doing the walk has been touched by cancer in some way. It’s great to see so many people showing their support.”

The walks started and finished at Wentworth Woodhouse. There was a shorter buggy-friendly walk, a 7.5 mile walk, and a 25 mile hike.

Proceeds will go to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Rotherham Hospital and several other good causes. Visit www.rushtowalk.com.