Stevenage ladies do the MoonWalk for breast cancer cause

PUBLISHED: 18:29 17 May 2018

Lonsdale School staff before setting off for the MoonWalk London challenge. Picture: Lonsdale School

Lonsdale School staff before setting off for the MoonWalk London challenge. Picture: Lonsdale School

Archant

Staff from a special needs school and a Stevenage physiotherapist were among those to take on MoonWalk London overnight on Saturday – all to raise money for a breast cancer charity.

St Paul's Cathedral looking majestic during MoonWalk London 2018. Picture: Lonsdale School St Paul's Cathedral looking majestic during MoonWalk London 2018. Picture: Lonsdale School

Eight members of staff at Stevenage’s Lonsdale School took on the challenge in memory of Mandy Parker (née Ward), who sadly lost her battle with the disease at Christmas.

Sheena Harley, Donna Lancaster, Claudia Thiele and Michelle Woolley all completed 15 miles, while Lauren Hughes, Gina Kelly, headteacher Annemari Ottridge and Lorraine Smith managed a marathon effort of 26.2 miles.

The annual fundraiser is in aid of Walk the Walk, the largest grant-making breast cancer charity in the UK.

“Mandy Parker was a much-loved and inspirational colleague, who sadly lost her battle with breast cancer,” said Claudia.

Annemari Ottridge, Lorraine Smith, Lauren Hughes and Gina Kelly from Lonsdale School completed the 26.2-mile MoonWalk London challenge. Picture: Lonsdale School Annemari Ottridge, Lorraine Smith, Lauren Hughes and Gina Kelly from Lonsdale School completed the 26.2-mile MoonWalk London challenge. Picture: Lonsdale School

“She always went the extra mile for our pupils and her colleagues, so we decided to do some miles for Mandy and raise money to support the fight against breast cancer.

“We shared the first eight miles together, admiring the lit-up sights of London. We then split with four of us walking a further seven miles and the second group walking a staggering 26.2 miles. Our feet and legs were painful with odd blisters appearing in places, but everyone endured. The first group returned to Clapham Common around 4.20am and the second arrived back around 10am. It was painful and everyone had to support one another along the way, but we all made it back.”

Sarah Kinsella, who runs Ask Physio in Stevenage Old Town, also completed the marathon course with four of her close friends – Emma Brooks,

Louise Ayres, Corinna Dennison and Helen Stanley.

Ask Physio's Sarah Kinsella, front, with university friends at the 13-mile mark. Picture: Sarah Kinsella Ask Physio's Sarah Kinsella, front, with university friends at the 13-mile mark. Picture: Sarah Kinsella

Sarah met them all on her physiotherapy degree course at the University of Hertfordshire in 1993, so the walk also served as a reunion.

“It was tougher than I thought it would be,” said Sarah.

“I had trained for it but had underestimated the difference walking at night would make. We left at 11.30pm and finished at 9am – that’s a long time to be on your feet, and I have the blisters to prove it!

“Thankfully I had a hydrotherapy session first thing Monday morning to ease my stiff legs!”

Ask Physio's Sarah Kinsella, left, completed the 26.2-mile MoonWalk London challenge with friends she went to university with. Picture: Sarah Kinsella Ask Physio's Sarah Kinsella, left, completed the 26.2-mile MoonWalk London challenge with friends she went to university with. Picture: Sarah Kinsella

To sponsor the Lonsdale staff, who have raised more than £2,600 so far, visit moonwalklondon2018.everydayhero.com and for Sarah’s page see moonwalklondon2018.everydayhero.com/uk/sarah-22.

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