Community unites for charity walk after father and daughter's cancer battle
PUBLISHED: 17:08 21 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:08 21 February 2018
A group of generous walkers congregated to raise money for causes close to the hearts of a father and daughter who have suffered from cancer.
Organised by Drives 4 U Ltd, members of the public gathered at The Jolly Sailors pub in Pakefield on Saturday morning (February 17) before embarking on a seven-mile trek to the Kessingland sluice and back, undertaking a beach clean along the way.
It follows a difficult period during which two members of the same family - who have both been involved with Drives 4 U in the past - have been severely affected by cancer and subjected to various forms of treatment.
Michael Smithson was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, meaning he has had to undergo radiotherapy, chemotherapy and an operation which saw his left hip rebuilt after the cancer affected the bone, but he is now in remission. His daughter, Chloe Smithson, has undergone radiotherapy and is currently on a course of chemotherapy having been diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Funds were being raised for Myeloma UK, whose ultimate goal is to find a cure to a type of cancer caused by abnormal blood cells, and The Big C, who actively support cancer research in Norfolk and Waveney.
Mr Smithson said: “We had a very good turnout for the walk - much better than expected, as was the amount of money raised.
“Both of the charities that we raised money for are very important to us as Chloe and I recover from our illnesses.
“Chloe is very much involved with The Big C and their cancer research in the area, while Myeloma UK specialise in generally assisting people with the hardships of cancer.”
Having completed the walk, participants were rewarded with a well-deserved meal and drink at The Jolly Sailors, where there were a number of collection tins to make donations.
A total of £1,540 was raised, which will be split between the two charities.
“The staff of Drives 4 U, their partners and all those who donated are heartily thanked for their efforts,” added Mr Smithson. “They did a great job to organise the walk and carry out the fundraising.
“I’m sure the charities will be grateful for the funds raised by these kind-hearted people.”