Cancer patient walking the distance of Pennine Way in memory of wife

John Lambert is walking the distance of Pennine Way to raise money for Garden House Hospice Care, after the charity...

John Lambert is walking the distance of Pennine Way to raise money for Garden House Hospice Care, after the charity supported his wife Sue through her terminal cancer. Picture: Garden House Hospice Care - Credit: Archant

A 65-year old man suffering from metastatic kidney cancer is walking the 268-mile length of the Pennine Way at two miles a day for Garden House Hospice Care, in memory of his wife.

John Lambert started fell walking in 1974 and has since walked around the Mont Blanc massif and completed the three peaks of Yorkshire four times, but never managed to walk the Pennine Way, which stretches 268 miles from north Derbyshire, through the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland and ends just inside the Scottish border.

Now, despite suffering from cancer and experiencing side effects such as arthritis and cancer-related fatigue, John is determined to walk the Pennine Way distance in the North Herts countryside while fundraising for Garden House Hospice Care, which supported him through his wife’s terminal cancer in 2019.

John explained: “I buried my beloved wife three weeks before Christmas last year, after being diagnosed with cancer myself while caring for Sue at home.

“Spending Christmas alone wasn’t something I was used to, or prepared for, and was something I managed to avoid with thanks to the support of the hospice. After attending their Community Hub and coffee morning I was invited to spend Christmas Day with the Compassionate Neighbours.

“What would have been a lonely day turned into one of companionship, with drinks, Christmas Lunch, the Queen’s Speech, and a Christmas quiz.

“The hospice has supported me in many ways, and I wanted to give something back, so I decided to set myself the challenge of completing 268 miles of the Pennine Way to help raise funds.

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“I’m going through treatment and try to complete my challenge in manageable chunks of two miles at a time, at a slow pace, logging my progress against the Pennines.

“When I was diagnosed, there were days I struggled to get up to help care for Sue. Going walking has made me stronger and this challenge has given me something to focus on.”

Richard Harbon, head of events at Garden House Hospice Care, recently met John for one of his walks in Wymondley Woods near Letchworth.

He added: “It never fails to amaze us how inspiring our supporters are, often taking on challenges to help the hospice at times where they face huge challenges themselves.

“What is amazing about John is that he has faced all his challenges with a smile and optimism. The three hours we spent together was immensely enjoyable.

“John will complete the walk, reach Kirby Eltham in good time, have a glass of beer to celebrate and raise some fantastic funds for the hospice. A truly inspirational man.”

John has already more than doubled his fundraising target of £1,200, with the total sitting at just under £2,700.

To sponsor John, visit