Breast Cancer

THE founder of a Woking-based breast cancer charity has taken part in her 20th New York City Marathon, the event that inspired her to start an initiative that has raised £133million over 23 years.

Nina Barough, the creator of Walk the Walk, first power walked the New York Marathon wearing just a bra for a top in 1996 with 13 friends, raising £25,000 for breast cancer research.

Walk the Walk founder and chief executive Nina Barough (front centre) takes part in her first New York City Marathon in 1996.

A few months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer herself and her friends and family supported her by walking the London Marathon in their bras, raising another £25,000.

Two years later, Nina organised MoonWalk London, a night-time power walking marathon and half marathon after only half her friends who applied to the London Marathon received places.

Since then, Walk the Walk has been organising events such as MoonWalks in Scotland and Iceland, and participation in other events around the world. Earlier this month, Nina went back to the New York marathon, where it all began.

Nina with fellow walker Sally Orr

After crossing the finishing line, she said: “Every bit of my 20th New York City marathon experience was just as wonderful as the first one back in 1996.

“Not only is it one of the world’s most famous marathons, it is extremely close to my heart as this is where Walk the Walk began its story. Myself and 12 other brave and enthusiastic walkers took on the marathon wearing our decorated bras for the first time to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.

“Twenty-three years later, I was joined by another team of 11 fantastic walkers and we were all wearing our trademark decorated bras. Some were in the colours of the US flag, another walker had the New York skyline emblazoned across her bra.

The Walk the Walk team after the event

“For this special day, mine was decorated in the famous yellow of the New York taxis. The sun shone for us, the crowds were incredible, and as always and we had a tremendous day.

“When I look back at what Walk the Walk has achieved since 1996, it really is quite overwhelming. It makes me feel incredibly proud of the thousands of women, men and young people that have taken part in our events over the years.

“Together they have raised over £133million that has made a significant contribution to the development of how breast cancer is treated today. Overwhelming and emotional, but truly amazing.”

Walk the Walk funds are granted to projects that support research and those helping cancer patients.

Grants have been made to charities and organisations throughout the UK, including Breast Cancer Now, Breast Cancer Haven, Penny Brohn UK. The charity supplies scalp cooling systems to hundreds of NHS hospitals and trusts, helping people undergoing chemotherapy to avoid losing their hair.

The charity also has an annual community grant fund for smaller organisations, such as Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, Tenovus Cancer Care, The Christie, Cancer Kin, and FACT.

The 23rd Moon Walk London will take place on Saturday 16 May 2020, starting and finishing at Clapham Common. Walkers can do the Half Moon (15.1 miles) or Full Moon (26.2 miles) and the theme is “Out of this World”.

For more information, visit www.walkthewalk.org.

For the full story get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

A DISPLAY of bras and outfits created by some of the country’s top fashion designers was held at the V&A Museum by the Woking breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.

The McLaren Grand Curves and Formula 1 bras

The selection of one-off bras worn by models at Walking Works of Art were created by the likes of Dame Zandra Rhodes, Julien Macdonald, Bruce Oldfield, Jeff Banks, Jimmy Choo and Lindy Hemming.

One was designed by Michael Condron, the artist who created the Martian tripod statue in Woking town centre. Another Woking link were the McLaren Grand Curves and Formula 1 bras sponsored by the racing team and sports car maker based on the edge of town.

Michael Condron’s War of the Worlds bra

Some were signed and inspired by celebrities such as the Olympic gold medal skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean and the boxer Nicola Adams.

The occasion marked Breast Cancer Awareness Month and highlighted the achievements of grant-making breast cancer charity which has raised almost £133 million over the past 23 years. 

The event was hosted by TV and radio presenter Gaby Roslin, who has supported the charity for a number of years, most recently taking part in The MoonWalk London 2019.

Walk the Walk founder and chief executive Nina Barough said: “It was a pleasure to be able to exhibit some of our fabulous bras at the V&A.

Lorraine Kelly bra created by Barbour

“The bras are synonymous with Walk the Walk; it’s our trademark and it’s not often that we get the chance to show the collection we’ve had created by authors, sculptors, designers, artists, a real raft of people.

“It was wonderful to have such a lovely crew of make-up artists and models, stylists and choreographers all donating their time, because it meant something to them.”

The bras on display are part of Walk the Walk’s growing collection of decorated bras and will be on display at the headquarters of the 23rd MoonWalk London on Saturday 16 May 2020 at Clapham Common. The theme is Out of this World and participants, who must be 13 years old and over, can walk the Half Moon (15.1 miles) or the Full Moon (26.2 miles).

For more information, visit www.walkthewalk.org.

For the full story and more pictures, get the 31 October edition of the News & Mail

A TEACHING assistant at a school in Sheerwater has described how the death of a close friend inspired her to complete The MoonWalk London on Saturday.

Anita Allard planned to complete the half-marathon walk on behalf of her friend Kirsty, who had been undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Anita Allard in her disco-tastic walking gear

But just days before taking on the challenge for the first time, Anita learned that Kirsty had died. “I’d planned to do the walk for her, then surprise her with a picture with her name on the board at the end. I’ve got the picture, but quite what I’ll do with it I’m not sure yet.

“She died on the Tuesday, and I found out on Wednesday. She seemed to be recovering well.

“It’s been devastating, but it made me even more determined to do the walk. I knew I couldn’t pull out.

“Every bit of my body hurts right now, but as I was walking it really came home to me that if Kirsty could go through radiotherapy, chemotherapy, sickness and discomfort every week, I could push through a few aches and pains.”

An emotional Anita, 45, said that she plans to do the MoonWalk again, and was delighted that she and three friends had raised £1,800 for the locally-based charity, Walk the Walk.

For the full story get the 16 May edition of the News & Mail

A RETIRED teacher from Woking is preparing to pound the captial’s pavements this Saturday, taking part in The MoonWalk London to raise money for locally-based charity, Walk the Walk.

The charity raises money and awareness for breast cancer, granting funds to various projects and campaigns that are involved with treating the disease.

Eira with Nadine and Jo, the Walkie Talkies

“I’ve known about The MoonWalk for years, and have taken part five times before – my first time was in 2005,” said Eira Meller, 54. “I was running the London Marathon the same year, so was probably at my fittest but since then I felt I needed something that would be a little kinder on my body than running a marathon.

Three years ago, Eira was diagnosed with breast cancer herself.

Eira Meller in her colourful walking gear

“I was checking my breasts when I found the lump. My treatment plan was a lumpectomy, followed by chemo and radiotherapy. This MoonWalk will be my first challenge since having breast cancer. This year there are three of us walking, my friend Nadine who has always taken part with me and also our friend Jo – we’re called the ‘Walkie Talkies’.

She’s looking forward to the event this weekend: “We will be wearing decorated bras at The MoonWalk – they will be glow-in-the-dark with flashing lights! All in line with the disco theme!

“So far, we have raised £1700 between the three of us – our friends and family have been so generous.”

To find out more about Walk the Walk, or to sign up for one of their challenges, visit www.walkthewalk.org

For the full story get the 9 May edition of the News & Mail