Letchworth Walks to D'Feet MND walkers honour friend as fundraising tally tops £30,000

PUBLISHED: 08:22 04 October 2017

Pete Jackson wearing the blue, orange and white of the Walks to D'Feet MND initiative during one of the Letchworth walks around the Greenway. Picture: Letchworth Walks to D'Feet MND

Pete Jackson wearing the blue, orange and white of the Walks to D'Feet MND initiative during one of the Letchworth walks around the Greenway. Picture: Letchworth Walks to D'Feet MND

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A group of Letchworth fundraisers inspired by two friends fighting an incurable disease have paid a poignant tribute after one of them lost his battle.

Members of the Letchworth Walks to D'Feet MND team honour Pete Jackson's life at St Paul's Church. Picture: Letchworth Walks to D'Feet MNDMembers of the Letchworth Walks to D'Feet MND team honour Pete Jackson's life at St Paul's Church. Picture: Letchworth Walks to D'Feet MND

The Letchworth Walks to D’Feet MND team started the year planning to raise £12,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association with 12 walks around the 13.6-mile Greenway – and their tally reached an incredible £30,000 on Thursday.

The timing was particularly profound as it came the evening before the funeral of Pete Jackson, who inspired the walking challenge alongside his friend John Gray.

Pete, 76, died on September 19 – a year after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease. John’s battle continues.

Letchworth Walks to D’Feet MND fundraisers were among more than 100 mourners who gathered at St Paul’s Church off Baldock Road to remember Pete on Friday.

Bubbles at the funeral of Pete Jackson at St Paul's Church. Picture: Letchworth Walks to D'Feet MNDBubbles at the funeral of Pete Jackson at St Paul's Church. Picture: Letchworth Walks to D'Feet MND

His wife Jeannette led everyone out of the church into a sea of bubbles through an arch of balloons in the MND Association colours of blue, orange and white.

Letchworth Walks to D’Feet MND organiser Claire Pedrick told the Comet: “We have walked round the Letchworth Greenway eight times so far this year, and we make the end of each walk special. We wanted to honour Pete’s life and mark the end of his walk.

“We walk again next Saturday, October 7, in honour of Pete and others who have been taken by motor neurone disease. We now walk in his memory.

“The money raised isn’t for Pete and John. It is for the work the Motor Neurone Disease Association do with people and their families, and for research into this crippling disease which has no cure yet.”

Some 138 people have taken part in the eight walks so far, and John will again be supporting the back-up team during the ninth this weekend.

Walkers have been as young as six years old and as old as 80, with tiny babies also brought along in pushchairs. There have also been numerous dog participants, including one fundraiser who dressed as a dog.

This weekend there is the option to walk, run or cycle the course. Walkers should meet at The Fox at Willian to register at 8.30am, leave at 9am and return at 2pm.

Runners and cyclists can choose their own distance and start time, but should aim to finish at The Fox at 2pm. T-shirts can be picked up at the start, from Radwell Meadow at 10.30am or from the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living car park at 12.30pm.

The last three walks will be on November 11, December 2 and January 6 – with annual fundraising walks planned thereafter.

You can donate money and find out more at justgiving.com/claire-pedrick, or email Claire to find out more at claire.pedrick@gmail.com.

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