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.
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.
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.
“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