by Lauren Wafer-Kiddle
The son of a Leeds woman who died of skin cancer when he was two is walking 780 miles across England to raise money for research into the disease.
Drew Turner, 21, and his uncle Mark Lewis, 48, are walking 26 miles a day for 26 days between August 16 and September 13 – setting off from Land’s End and completing their trek in their hometown of Halifax.
Rebecca Turner was 27 years old when she found a lump on her back and died just 16 weeks later from skin cancer in 1994.
Her son Drew was two years old when Rebecca lost her battle with the disease.
Towards the end of her fight, Rebecca went blind and could no longer see her son.
Her brother Mark, an organisational development consultant, said: “About 18 months ago, I started thinking about something a bit different that I could do to mark the 20th anniversary of my sister’s death to raise money for charities that helped us.
“I started out with the idea of walking 1 million footsteps. I started to measure how far that would be by walking across my kitchen and measured it would be around 380 miles.”
The distance grew to 780 miles when Mark decided to walk from Land’s End to Halifax. Mark and Drew train every weekend and will walk 50 miles through the Calderdale Way this weekend.
“I had agreed to it before I knew how gruelling it would be.
“My motivation is that I am doing this for my sister. When she died I made a promise to myself that I was going to make the most of every opportunity I got because life is too short,” he said.
The pair aim to raise £26,000 for Cancer Research UK and MacMillan Cancer Support over the next few months.
Mark added: “If you set your mind on something, you can do anything.”
They are fundraising through Just Giving and plan to hold a Comedy Night in June – https://twitter.com/LongWalkHome14.