More than 400 intrepid fundraisers will embark on a sponsored walk to raise money for life-saving cancer treatment for a six-year-old Holmfirth girl.
But dad-of-two Marc Townsend is taking it further – by trebling the challenge and taking it beyond a double marathon distance.
The Gardens of Eden Tour on February 12 involves a 22-mile walk from Holmfirth to Huddersfield and back to raise money to send Eden Smith to New York for pioneering treatment for the aggressive childhood cancer neuroblastoma.
But Marc, touched by what Eden’s family are going through, wanted to add his own twist. He will walk the route with wife Rebecca and a group of friends but will also run it and cycle it – all in the space of 24 hours!
Eden, who lives with mum and dad Lee and Jen and nine-year-old sister Tia, was diagnosed in April last year and is undergoing treatment.
To prevent the cancer returning Eden will need Bivalent Vaccine treatment, currently only available in New York. A massive fundraising appeal has been launched to raise the £280,000 needed. So far around £95,000 has been raised.
Marc told how his children Ruby and Noah were around the same age as Eden and Tia and had been at nursery together and the respective parents became friends through their children and the shared experience of parenthood.
Marc described news of Eden’s diagnosis as “like hitting a cliff edge” and they were so touched that they wanted to help.
He said: “As a person, friend and father, I cannot imagine the physical and emotional toll this is having on not only a six-year-old girl, who should be worrying about her dolls and playing in the garden, but the pain that her parents are going through each and every 24 hours.
“It got me thinking how I could make the 22-mile walk a way to push myself to somehow experience a millimetre of how they are having to push themselves daily to find the strength and determination to face a new day.
“I have very few words to sum this up other than I am in absolute awe of Eden, Jen, Lee and Tia.
“Therefore, my personal added ‘twist’, is to walk the 22-mile route, run the 22-mile route and cycle the 22-mile route all in the period of 24 hours on Saturday February 12. The total of 66 miles is beyond two marathons.”
To support Marc click HERE.