Why I’m walking 50km for Dimbleby Cancer Care

Jonathan Dimbleby

Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby is taking on an endurance challenge this summer in celebration of the charity founded in honour of his father, Richard, who died 50 years ago this year.

As Chair of the charity, Jonathan is leading Dimbleby Cancer Care’s 50/50/50 event on Friday 5 June – a 50km walk through London during the night that aims to raise £50,000.

Dimbleby Cancer Care was set up in 1966 in memory of broadcaster Richard Dimbleby and is based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in London. It gives practical and psychological support to people living with cancer and to their families and carers.

Jonathan said: “This year kick starts our charity’s 50th anniversary. We want to mark the occasion with a great event that also raises lots of money. I’ve never walked around London at night. It’s a long way but I am really looking forward to it – though I haven’t spoken to my feet about it yet!

“We are starting at St Thomas’ which is where my father spent his last days. His only complaint was the pillows were too hard. This was the stimulus that made us decide to make a contribution to the needs of people living with cancer. I hope that lots of sympathisers will join me to raise the kind of money needed to sustain this work and boost our ‘Care for the Future’ appeal.”

Starting in the evening, the walk’s route takes in famous London landmarks including Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, the Tower of London, Canary Wharf and Greenwich.  The event, which is sponsored by Leon, starts at St Thomas’ hospital and finishes at Guy’s hospital, the two hospitals where the charity provides its services.

Anne Bodenham, 57, from Croydon used the charity’s services in 2013 when she was diagnosed with Thymoma, an extremely rare cancer of the thymus gland that only affects two in a million people. She said:

The charity provides such a vital service in supporting people living with cancer and their families.  After my treatment I realised the enormity of all I’d been through and couldn’t imagine how I’d ever be ‘normal’ again. This is where I found the support of the Dimbleby Cancer Care unit invaluable. I also had six sessions with the charity’s complementary therapist team who helped me relax and focus on myself and just de-stress. I also had two counselling sessions with the charity’s therapists who reassured me that the anxiety I felt following my successful treatment was quite normal.

“After my operation the charity gave me one if its free pillows to help. It was something so small but it made such a difference. I can’t stress enough how helpful I found the pillow whilst I was recovering from my operation. It was very supportive for my neck and my legs underneath my knees and I also used it to protect my chest which was very delicate post operation. The charity has such a positive impact on the quality of cancer care in the UK.”

To sponsor Jonathan please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Jonathan-Dimbleby-50-50-50

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