86-year-old retired nurse from Letchworth walks more than eight miles around Greenway to raise £300 for Garden House Hospice Care and other causes
- Credit: Archant
An 86-year-old retired nurse from Letchworth who suffers from a disease affecting the joints has walked more than eight miles around the town to raise £300 for charity.
Fay Reid, who lives in Norton Hall Farm and used to run marathons regularly, was the eldest of more than 250 entrants in the Rotary Club of Letchworth Garden City’s annual charity walk on Sunday.
She used a wheeled walking frame to cover 8.5 miles along the route around the Greenway, starting at Highfield School and finishing by Woolgrove School.
“We’re encouraged to walk by the government for our health, so I thought I’d have a go,” said Fay, who used to be a clinical nurse specialist and medical lecturer in London.
Fay’s achievement becomes all the more remarkable when one realises that she suffers from acute rheumatic fever – a disease that usually affects children.
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“I was told when I was 30 I had about a one-in-three chance of reaching 40,” said Fay.
“When I started to get better I started doing a little bit of walking at a time until I could walk a reasonable distance.
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“When I was about 54 I started running, and I applied to go in the London Marathon. I got in the third time I went for it in 1986, and after that I ran more or less two marathons a year. I stopped because I developed a heart condition.”
Fay was supported at the weekend by her friend and former workmate Sue Fell, who came over from Penge in south-east London to walk with her.
Fay said: “She’s much younger than me. When she said to sit and have a rest, we found a shady spot to do it because it was so hot!
“I’d like to thank John Hillson, who was the back marker. He was incredibly helpful.
“I obviously held him up because I was so slow, but he never said a word.”
The money Fay has raised will be split between three causes – half will go to Garden House Hospice Care, and 25 per cent each will go to Rotarian charities and the Preservation Trust of St Nicholas’ Church in Norton.
Anita Thompson, scheme manager at Norton Hall Farm, said: “I think the fact Fay’s done more than eight miles is an amazing achievement. We’re all very proud of her.”
The other walkers included a team of 18 from the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, who were fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The walk raised a total of more than £7,500 for various causes.
Those wishing to register early for next year’s walk can do so at lgcrotary.org.uk.