A group of women, including a mum and daughter, endured a sleepless night at the weekend, as they joined Cancer Research UK’s marathon ‘Shine’ night walk in London.
After being diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (MS) nine years ago, Nicola Fardell, of Princess Drive, decided to embark on the 26.2 mile trek around London, as both a personal challenge and to raise money for charity.
Not short of support, Nicola, 51, was soon joined by her daughter, Ellie, 21, who wanted to walk in memory of her Grandma Jean, who lost her battle with cancer in February 2013.
The mum and daughter duo were later joined by Nicola’s work colleague from Natasha Pond, 35, who works alongside Nicola for NHS inpatient Mental Health, at Ashley House, Beacon Lane, and friend Sarah Harris, 44, from Denton.
Nicola said: “I wanted to do a bit of training beforehand and would walk my dog alot. Natasha went out walking with her mum.”
Donning brightly coloured tutus, glow in the dark face paint, glasses and glow sticks, the foursome joined thousands of men and women taking to the streetsto light up London and fund life-saving research.
After setting off from Southwark Park at 9.30pm, the route took the walkers past many of London’s iconic sights including Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Tower Bridge and The Shard.
After nearly 10 hours, they finally reached their final destination at Old Billingsgate just before 7.30am.
Nicola said: “We were all absolutely shattered, but also elated that we had managed to complete not only a physical but a mental challenge for all of us. It was really hard going in places, but we supported each other through it.
“The biggest challenge was after completing 13 miles, knowing that there was 13.2 miles still left to go, however we ended up completing the second 13.2 miles in an hour less than the first 13.”
No sooner had they finished and collected their medals, but they had to dash off to catch their train back to Grantham.
Nicola added: “We arrived home exhilarated, relieved and emotional but completely overwhelmed as we have managed to raise £2,000 between us.”
Despite still nursing sore feet, Nicola hasn’t been put off going through it all again.
She added: “We enjoyed ourselves so much, especially being in the capital city and raising money for a good cause, that we are daft enough to want to do to all again next year.” It is not too late to show your support.
Nicola added: “We all have a Shine fundraising page on our own personal facebook pages, if anyone would like to make a late donation.”
For more information, visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/find-an-event/charity-walks/shine-night-walk