They made it!
895 miles in 58 days. Many lives saved. Huge increase in awareness of prostate cancer. A fantastic effort by Nigel Lewis-Baker and Charlie Carr. So far, the Love Train appeal fund total stands at £29,350.00 and donations are still coming in.
“If I had known how tough it would be I don’t think I would have taken it on” said Nigel, our walking miracle who was diagnosed with advanced incurable prostate cancer 8 years ago. “Our biggest problem was that having set ourselves an immovable date to reach Land’s End, we had to average 18 miles a day to meet it.”
Starting at John O’Groats on March 21 in glorious sun, they endured roasting temperatures in the Highlands, ice and snow through the Borders and driving rain and cold across the Yorkshire Moors. Alan Carr, one of Nigel’s walking partners, was forced to retire from the team with chronic blisters so it was left to Nigel and Charlie Carr (Alan’s daughter) to continue the challenge without him.
Home for the duration of the Walk was a massive white motorhome kindly loaned to us by Housing Solutions of Maidenhead. “It was covered in our sponsors’ logos” said Nigel “which gave us an opportunity to give a visual vote of thanks to all our generous sponsors.” The Caravan Club generously donated free sites which saved a lot of expense.
Prior to the Walk, the Love Train team canvassed support from Rotary clubs, The Lions, Masonic Lodges and Town Mayors across the entire length of their route in the hope that they would come out to rattle tins with us. Some did, particularly the Lions Clubs who were fantastic, but overall levels of support were disappointing. It was tough to raise media interest too, many only willing to cover our story if local people were involved – a very blinkered view considering how widespread the prostate cancer problem is. However, we did get great press and local radio coverage from the those who were interested and the absolute icing on the cake for us was a report by BBC Journalist Yvonne Hall which went out on BBC London, South and Points West when the team were in Gloucestershire. You can watch it at this link: www.bbc.co.uk/news/. This provided the team with a huge boost and encouraged a late surge of interest and donations.
We would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who supported us throughout the 11 weeks we were on the road. Particular thanks go to Marian Anderson from Edinburgh who is to become our Scottish Ambassador, Diana and Julius Caesar (yes, really!) who are now our Gloucestershire Ambassadors, Sue and Ivan Godfrey from Tiverton Rotary and Richard Large from Essex who’s father sadly died from prostate cancer during the Walk. Many thanks too to Sir Ray Tindle for the great coverage he gave us in his many provincial papers.
You can still donate to the Love Train Appeal. Just click the donate button on our home page.