Ipswich: Loved ones to take part in St Elizabeth Hospice’s Midnight Walk in memory of cancer patient

Shirley Blackwell and sixteen other members of Anthony Blackwell’s family have signed up to walk at

Shirley Blackwell and sixteen other members of Anthony Blackwells family have signed up to walk at Tonys Turbos in the St Elizabeth Hospices Midnight Walk or Run 2013. - Credit: Archant

FRIENDS and family of a 56-year-old cancer victim who died at the town’s hospice last month are today preparing to walk in his memory to raise money for charity.

The group, named Tony’s Turbo Walkers, has signed up to the St Elizabeth Hospice’s Midnight Walk next weekend in memory of beloved husband and father, Anthony Blackwell – known as Tony – who was cared for by hospice staff in his final days.

Tony’s wife of 26 years, Shirley, from Ipswich, is appealing for more people to sign up – with just five days left to register for the charity’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

Shirley, 47, said: “Tony was diagnosed with peritoneal [tissue that lines the abdomen] cancer in January and it was only when we came into the hospice that he received any care.

“When he was in the hospice they let me stay with him the whole 13 days he was there and when he came home the Hospice at Home team were absolutely fantastic.

“The hospice did us proud by Tony and now we’re taking part in the Midnight Walk to raise money for this amazing charity.”

Tony’s Turbo Walkers is made up of 12 women and five men, including Mr Blackwell’s children and other relatives, who will all be taking on the eight-mile route around Ipswich town centre on Saturday, May 18.

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Diane Riley, Tony’s sister-in-law, said: “The hospice was very supportive, always on hand when you needed them, nothing was too big or small and the hospitality was amazing.”

Many people choose to take part in the Midnight Walk in memory of a loved one and the eight-mile route poignantly passes the hospice in Foxhall Road where family and friends can place a tag with a personal message dedicated to their loved one on the tree of remembrance.

This year the Midnight Walk, which starts and finishes at Ipswich Town Football Club, has a carnival theme and will include a fun and energetic dance and aerobic-style warm-up led by Zumba and Bokwa instructor, Julie Foster.

Mrs Foster, who teaches classes across Suffolk, is sponsoring the warm-up this year.

Registration for the event closes on Wednesday, May 15, at 5pm. To register now visit www.midnightwalkipswich.co.uk

If you’re not taking part but still want to support it, you can donate by texting MNWK13 £5 to 70070.