Walk the Walk

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

A LOCAL Waitrose store has donated £490 to Woking-based breast cancer charity Walk the Walk Worldwide.

Nina Barough CBE, founder and chief executive of Walk the Walk, was presented with a supersize cheque by Karen Finn, Community Matters representative at Waitrose in West Byfleet, at a special event at the store.

CHEQUE THIS OUT – Nina Barough CBE and Jan Treacher-Evans, both of Walk the Walk, are delighted to receive a donation  from Oliver Howes, left, Karen Finn and Peter Collis (all Waitrose West Byfleet)

The money was raised through the Waitrose Community Matters Green Token Scheme for customers, and funds will go towards the maintenance of the Walk the Walk cold cap at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital. The cold cap, also known as a scalp cooler, is used to help patients undergoing certain types of chemotherapy to retain their hair.

Nina said: “All of us at Walk the Walk give a huge thank you to Waitrose in West Byfleet and all of their customers for supporting Walk the Walk. Our aim is to raise money and awareness for breast cancer so that we really can make a difference towards research, which will support all our future health, and for those that are living with cancer.

“Our fundraising is always important, but when it comes from our local community it is even more special. Thank you to all.”

For more information, including on MoonWalk London, please visit www.walkthewalk.org

For the full story get the 18 April edition of the News & Mail