When I was at school, a group of us would go hiking and drinking in the Yorkshire Dales. Train from York, walking in the snow, pubs and youth hostels. Pags, Simon, Tim, Louise, Tom, John, Ian. In November 2015, Tim and Tom arranged for us to have a weekend there, and we spent a day with Pags at Malham. Now, 35 years after those trips, the guys are doing a sponsored walk to help our family. The idea, like so many, was hatched in a York pub. The event is organised by Pags (real name Adrian Pagliaro). He wrote the letter below to family and friends.
Dear friends and family
This year I have organised two challenges in aid of causes close to my heart – details of these are below/over. I am pleased to say some friends are joining me on both events, walking with me from start to finish, but as usual I rely on your support and generosity to help raise the sponsorship which makes these events so worthwhile. You can help by making a donation online using the links detailed below if you can, and by spreading the details of the events in your own circles. I thank you in advance for your help and support once again.
Lyke Wake Walk – June 17th
The Event – 40 miles in 1 day, 4793 feet of ascent
An iconic 24 hour challenge set in the North Yorkshire Moors and was originally the route taken to carry the coffins across to the sea. It is an undulating and exposed west to east traverse of the Moors with steep climbs, a boggy section and 5-mile section on a disused railway track. The starting point is near Osmotherley, then follows the Cleveland Way along the Rim of Cleveland, across Urra Moor, along the railway line to Blakey Ridge, over Rosedale Moor and Wheeldale Moor, after crossing the NYMR at Eller Beck crosses High Moor to finish near Ravenscar.
The Story – Andrew was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in May 2015, after going to the doctors because of an ache. Motor neurone disease (MND) is a progressive disease that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. There is no cure for MND – 1/3 of people will die within the first year after diagnosis, and more than ½ within 2 years.
At the time of writing this, in Andrew’s case the condition has reached his neck, below which he is immobile. He has difficulty breathing, feeds through a tube and can no longer talk, although manages to communicate through ‘eye gaze’ technology. He was an active man, who loved to travel and has lived in many places around the world. He is married with 2 young children. Despite his physical difficulties his mind is clear and we can only imagine what he must be thinking and how trapped he must be feeling.
Recently Andrew made a simple request – would it be possible to have some outings with his family, and if possible a holiday. Of course this is easier said than done, and although the family have a vehicle which will cater for his powered chair, Andrew needs a carer to go with him everywhere now, which comes at some considerable cost.
Andrew’s friends have rallied round, and a few of us have decided to undertake this walking challenge to raise some much needed funds to allow the family to spend some quality time together. During our school years we spent time with Andrew walking and cycling in Yorkshire’s great National Parks so what better way than for us to tackle the Lyke Wake Walk!
You can sponsor us at a crowd funding page specially set up to help Andrew: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/walktothemax
The Yorkshire 6 Peaks Challenge – May 27th & 28th
The Event – 50 miles in 2 days, 6 Peaks and 9500 feet of ascent.
Set in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, the trail starts in Settle and ends in Kirkby Stephen, roughly following the route of the famous Settle to Carlisle Railway Line. The trail takes in the awesome peaks of Penyghent, Ingleborough, Whernside, Great Knoutberry, Swarth Fell and Wild Boar Fell, all of which are over 2000 feet in height.
The Charity – Candlelighters, bringing light and hope to families of children suffering with cancer. Founded in 1976 by families and medical staff, Candlelighters continues to help support children with cancer and their families, through funding research, family holidays, grants, essential additional services within the hospital and vital support for all the family members. Now more than 40 years into their journey, their aim today is the same as it has always been – to bring support and hope to ordinary families who are facing extraordinary circumstances.
The Story – George is an amazing 6 year old boy. Aged 2½ he was diagnosed with Leukaemia. During his treatment he has spent more than 7 months in hospital, had shingles 6 times as well as regular infection and viruses whilst his immunity has been so low. Subjected to daily chemotherapy and medication every 4 hours, he has led a far from normal life, in fact he can only remember being ill. Amazingly last November he won the fight when he was finally given the all clear, although he will always need regular checkups. From diagnosis he and his family have been supported by Candlelighters every step of the way – without them life would have been impossible. Mark and Helen, and their 3 children, spend much of their time giving back to this wonderful charity. I am privileged to be their friend and with them want to help Candlelighters by raising some much needed funds.
You can sponsor Team George on their quest by donating online: www.justgiving.com/Y6P