Stepping out in memory of cancer victims

A GROUP of women highlighted the plight of those suffering from breast cancer - and remembered those who had not survived the disease - as they took part in a special sponsored walk.

A GROUP of women highlighted the plight of those suffering from breast cancer - and remembered those who had not survived the disease - as they took part in a special sponsored walk.

The 20 members of WeightWatchers were stepping out in memory of Gloria Pettigrew, of Felixstowe, who lost her life to breast cancer last year.

The group from Ipswich and Felixstowe walked from Cobbold's Point to the port viewing area at Landguard and back - nearly seven miles - to raise about £1,000 for the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity which supports research and education about cancer.

The group's pedometers showed they made 223,184 steps.

Janet Smith, who organised the walk, battled breast cancer ten years ago, while two members of the group were currently fighting the disease.

“We just wanted to do whatever we could to highlight breast cancer and so we took up the walking challenge,” said Mrs Smith.

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“Our first walk last year raised more than £800 and with what we have raised this year we will be able to have a place on the Breakthrough Challenge Wall.

“We are going to put Gloria's name on the wall in memory of her because we think that would be most fitting - and our walk was partly in memory of her, too.”

Mrs Smith, who leads WeightWatchers' groups at St James' Church Hall in Landseer Road, Ipswich, on Mondays, St Philip's Hall, Wadgate Road, Felixstowe, on Tuesdays, and St Francis' Hall, Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, on Thursdays, said she had been diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 44.

“It was an incredible shock - I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me,” she said.

“All these things were going through my mind - I was not going to see my children grow up, not see them married or see grandchildren.

“But I survived - three years ago I had reconstruction surgery - and the staff at the hospitals were just wonderful, amazing.

“I know it is an awful disease and not everyone does survive, but we wanted to show that women can come through it and live full lives again and that wonderful work is being done to help them fight it.”

She also thanked Amaryllis florists of Felixstowe for blowing up the group's balloons for free.

Are you taking part in a special fundraising event for charity or a good cause? Contact the Newsroom on 01473 324788 or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk