Each with their own very personal reasons for taking part, every single one of these walkers will be attempting to walk a challenging 50 miles over 2 days around some of the Isle of Wight’s most beautiful coastline on the Follow the Seagulls walk, which has been organised by national brain tumour support charity brainstrust.
Every year approximately 11,000 people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour, including 500 children and young people. More than 5,000 people die from a brain tumour every year.
Among those taking part in the fundraising walk will be Nicola Manuel from Surrey, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2015 and will be walking on the Island alongside her mum, Sue.
At 25, Nicola had her dream job – she was an artist agent working and living in London. But her life turned upside down in November 2015 when she suffered a seizure while having coffee with a friend.
“I had been for a run that morning as I was training for the Brighton Marathon. I met a friend for coffee and the next thing I knew I lost my speech and then blacked out, what I now know was a seizure. It must have been very frightening for the people around me. I know someone put me into the recovery position and when I came around I was taken to hospital”.
Will Jones, chief executive of brainstrust, said:
“Being diagnosed with a brain tumour has a devastating impact on people’s lives. For the patient themselves their world is turned upside down, families don’t know where to turn. We understand that it is a genuinely terrifying experience.
“At brainstrust we offer 24/7 personal support from the point of diagnosis onwards and we build resources which help people become stronger and more in control of their lives. Of course to offer this level of service costs a lot of money, resource and time and Follow the Seagulls goes a long way to supporting our work”.
The challenge is 1 of 3 taking place across the country, with walks also starting from Whitby in North Yorkshire and the Fife coast in Scotland.
Participants pay £20 to register for the walk of their choice and are asked to raise a minimum sponsorship of £500. To take part visit the website at www.braintumour50.com.