Trek in brother’s memory raises thousands for cancer charity and wins award

Sandy Atfield, from Weston Turville, who trekked in memory of her brother Malcolm.
Sandy Atfield, from Weston Turville, who trekked in memory of her brother Malcolm.

A Weston Turville woman who walked 300 miles to raise money for a local charity in memory of her brother has had her ‘incredible’ fundraising efforts honoured with a Beacons of Hope award.

Aylesbury-based charity The Lymphoma Association awarded Sandy Atfield with the accolade after she raised more than £4,500. Sandy walked from Sutton in Surrey to the Eden Project in Cornwall in September 2014. Her late brother Malcolm, who died of lymphoma in 2003, a cancer of the lymphatic system, had always wanted to visit the Eden Project.

Sandy’s husband Richard received the award on her behalf at the Lymphoma Association’s annual ceremony, held at the ZSL London Zoo, as she was with family in Australia, and listened in on Skype.

The event was hosted by ex BBC Radio 4 Presenter Alice Arnold. A citation she read out at the awards said: “For three weeks, Sandy walked miles every day to reach her goal. She faced various challenges along the way including crippling walking boots but she never gave up.

“Sandy met many people on the way striking up conversations about what she was doing and why, raising awareness of lymphoma throughout the trek. Her incredible efforts raised over £4,500 to help people with lymphoma and the people who care for them.’

Sandy said: “Walking gave me time to reflect on my brother and what he so bravely went through.”

Now back in the UK, Sandy is both surprised and delighted to receive the award. She said: “I just wanted a challenge to celebrate my 60th birthday and raise money and awareness. I listened in to the other awards and they were amazing!”

Jonathan Pearce, chief executive of the Lymphoma Association, said: “We were delighted to be able to present Sandy with a Beacons of Hope Award.

“We specialise in providing reliable medical information and appropriate support to anyone affected by lymphoma, and the Beacons of Hope Awards are a chance for us to say thank you and to celebrate the achievements of people like Sandy who make a real difference.”

Lymphoma is the UK’s fifth most common cancer and around 100,000 people are living with a lymphoma diagnosis. It is also the most common cancer in under 30s.

To find out more about lymphoma, please call Freephone 0808 808 5555 or visit www.lymphomas.org.uk.

For more background about Sandy’s fundraising see http://sandystrektoeden.blogspot.co.uk/