Stevenage man takes part in Starlight Walk in memory of wife who died of cancer

Des and Steve with their medals from the London Nightrider 2014 challenge

Des and Steve with their medals from the London Nightrider 2014 challenge - Credit: Archant

A man is taking part in a night-time walk in memory of his wife who died of lung cancer.

Des Waterfall from Stevenage is taking part in Garden House Hospice’s Starlight Walk event as a way of thanking staff for the care they gave his wife Christine, who died from lung cancer at the age of 63.

Nurses looked after Christine for a five-week period leading up to her death in August last year.

Following her death, Des decided to sign up for last year’s walk and completed the 10-mile course around Letchworth the day after Christine’s funeral.

He is now preparing to take part for a second consecutive year to raise funds for the hospice, which cares for patients with terminal illnesses across North Hertfordshire and Stevenage from its base in Letchworth.

The six or 10-mile walk starts and finishes at North Herts Leisure Centre on Baldock Road, with walkers – which will include men for just the second time – heading off at 10pm.

Reflecting on last year’s walk, Des said: “My wife had a difficult fight for eight months and finally succumbed late on the Friday night. We were cared for by the Garden House Hospice at home nurses who were there for both of us and helped me during this difficult time.

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“Shortly after her passing I saw the hospice was doing a walk and I felt I needed to thank them in some way. I always thought it was a female only event, but when I checked I saw that men could take part for the first time so I applied.

“Our close friend Alison and her husband Steve Webb decided to join me on the walk. Christine’s funeral was on Friday, September 6, and the walk was the next night. We completed the 10-mile walk in about two hours.

“This was an emotional time and a time for reflection. During the walk we talked about Chris, who she was and how much we would miss her.”

Des and Steve also completed the 100km London Nightrider 2014 cycling challenge in June, raising £935 for the hospice.

Des added: “The hospice needs £1.6 million to support families through their hour of need and after, so we will be taking part in this year’s walk in memory of Chris and to thank the hospice for their dedication to helping families who want to stay at home during a difficult time. I cannot thank them enough.”

Jo Wiffen, the hospice’s community fundraiser, said: “We need the support of the community we serve to make sure that we are there for them should they need us one day. So why not take up the challenge and join us on the night. It’s a great chance to get fit and have fun!”

For the second year running the walk is open to both men and women, as well as children aged 14 and over.

Entry is £10 for early bird registration which ends tomorrow, Friday, and £15 thereafter until the closing date on August 30.

To register for this year’s Starlight Walk visit or call 01462 679540. To help Des reach his target of £1,000 for the hospice visit