An avid walker from Chester has completed a mammoth charity challenge walking a total of 1,050 miles around Wales to raise money for North West Cancer Research.
Bob Chadwick first left his home in Littleton on January 23, 2014 and since then has trekked across some of the most scenic and challenging terrains in Wales as part of a mission to support cancer research projects in North Wales.
The 68-year-old has spent a total of 90 days walking, covering an average of 11 miles a day. His efforts have secured a total of £8,765 to date, which includes money raised at a celebratory evening at Chester Rugby Club on the evening of his final walk.
Bob was supported by North West Cancer Research chairman Nigel Lanceley for the final ten miles of his walk, providing extra support as he reached the finishing point.
The retired actuary mathematician was inspired to take on the challenge after hearing about the lifesaving research North West Cancer Research supports from his friends involved in the charity’s management and fundraising teams.
He said: “This was a challenge which had been beckoning me for quite some time now. Living in Chester I am less than three miles away from Wales and its magnificent coastline, which stretches out for more than 1,000 miles – a coastline which offers enough to be a challenge, but handy-sized enough not to need a decade to tackle in one’s spare time.
“I set out from my front door just under two years ago and started in an anti-clockwise direction. Since then I’ve been all over the Welsh coast line and its hilly land border. I think I have been up and down enough hills over the last two years to say I’ve climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest four times!
“I’ve not done it all alone though. I’ve been lucky enough to have my companions Nigel Griffiths and Mark Leather with me for most of the walks, as well as scores of family and friends, including members of our self-titled Clwb Bacpacio group, who share my innate love of walking.”
Money raised by Bob and his companions will support research at nearby Bangor University including a five year research fellowship and projects investigating repair factors in DNA damage responses to cancer therapies. North West Cancer Research has committed to supporting more than £13million worth of cancer research over the next five years.
Bob added: “We were lucky enough to call into the North West Cancer Research Institute at Bangor University on one of our walks. We were shown the equipment and spoke with some of the researchers that funding from the charity supports. We even got a chance to examine cancer cells under a microscope – all of which offered us a reminder of what we were walking for.
“Cancer is a horrible disease which affects so many of us, I don’t think there is anyone I know who hasn’t been touched by it some way or another. Research is one of the most important weapons there is in the fight against cancer. Without it, there would not be the treatment and diagnosis pathways for patients that there are today.
“I chose to support North West Cancer Research because of how it funds life-saving research. It’s locally based as well, enabling researchers based right here on my doorstep, so I know the money we raise will help people living in the North West and Wales.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far, walking with me and also putting money in my charity tin which I carried with me the whole way.”
Nigel Lanceley, chairman of North West Cancer Research, said: “What a phenomenal commitment and effort from Bob and his fellow walkers. The money they have raised will enable us to pledge more funding for cancer research, and help our mission to save more lives from cancer as soon as possible.
“I am delighted I was able to join Bob on the final stretch of his challenge. He has been a supporter of the charity and a friend for many years now.”