A company boss is in training for a marathon trek to raise money for a cancer charity in memory of his mum.
Paul Barlow, the chief executive of Wrexham-based online criminal record checks firm Disclosure Services, will be taking part in the 26-mile Mighty Hike around Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District.
He will be joined by his wife, Fiona, and their close friends Carl and Tracy Burkhill.
They will be walking along the Ullswater Way, from Dalemain House to Lowther Castle and they’re hoping to complete the challenge in around nine hours.
The quartet are aiming to raise £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Paul, who lives in Chester, explains that they are no strangers to long distance – but it’s normally running rather than walking:
“As part of our training, we have done four walks so far and we did 14 miles during the latest one.
“I have run six marathons in the past – several to raise money for Macmillan – but now that I’m of a certain age I thought walking was going to be a better bet.
Paul says the charity is particularly close to Paul’s heart after the support they gave his mum, Joy, from Bromborough, on the Wirral, and the rest of the family when during her final days.
She died aged 66 in 2005 after suffering a second bout of cancer.
““My mum had two bouts of cancer and sadly the second one took her away when she was relatively young.
“She overcame breast cancer in 2001 and went into remission but they found secondary cancer in the lymph nodes in late 2004 and then it got into her blood.
“We had plenty of time to say goodbye and to plan things but it’s tough watching someone over a period of about three months just waste away.
“It was a devastating experience for us as family but I have to say Macmillan were absolutely fantastic.
“They provide you with a real wrapper to guide you through the process and they gave us practical and emotional support when mum was ill. They don’t just walk away because after someone’s passed, either, they stay around and they’re there for whatever help you need.
Paul says that fundraising has helped him personally, as well as giving something back to Macmillan:
“My mum is still very important part of our lives. Joy was a good description of what my she was all about because she was a very joyous woman.
“Raising money for Macmillan is a way of keeping her memory alive and paying tribute for all that she did for us as a family, my brother Philip and our late father, Howard.
“Millions of people every year are impacted by cancer, either directly or a member of family and friends.
“Macmillan Caner Support are there to help you find our best way through from the moment of diagnosis, so you’re able to live life as fully as you can.”
Wife Fiona, who volunteers two days a week with the Citizens’ Advice in Chester, is looking forward to the Mighty Hike.
“We’re both in training and it’s going well and we’re increasing our miles each week.
“The walk will take place in one of the most scenic areas of the UK. If you’re going through the pain barrier you might as well do it in beautiful surroundings.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so via the JustGiving link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CowWhisperers