By Andy Hirst
A grandma is walking five million steps in just 10 months to raise hundreds of pounds for her favourite charity.
Sarah Humphries has long supported Slaithwaite-based Ruddi’s Retreat which provides holidays for families suffering from the impact and after-effects of cancer treatment, life-limiting illnesses or bereavement. Many would otherwise be unable to afford a holiday.
But when Sarah’s grandson, Logan Humphries, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2019 when he was just eight she was offered a holiday in one of the caravans.
Sarah, 51, of Crosland Moor, said: “Logan’s symptoms started with blurred vision and eye tests led to quick admission to hospital where an MRI scan showed a large brain tumour.”
Logan underwent surgery at Leeds General Infirmary and although medics managed to get the tumour out he was left with a weakness down his right side which also has an impact on his co-ordination and balance.
Logan is now 11 and Sarah said: “When we were in hospital we didn’t realise just how much we needed a holiday and when Ruddi’s helped us we went away for some fun and had a great time.”
In February 2021 Sarah walked 10,000 steps a day to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity but has now embarked on her ambitious target to walk five million steps for Ruddi’s this year.
“I need to do a minimum of five miles a day,” she said. “I see a good walk as nine or 10 miles but sometimes I just go for it.”
Going for it has included getting a train to Leeds and then walking the 18 miles back home and on Saturday, April 23, she aims to walk to Piccadilly Station in Manchester and then catch the train home. The distance is around 27 miles.
Sarah said: “I started my quest in February and hope to have completed the five million steps by the end of November.”
Sarah has set herself a target of £500 and to support her on JustGiving go to https://bit.ly/3vDyDRo
Ruddi’s Retreat is named after founder Ali Waterworth’s son, Ruddi, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when he was just six months old.
During the two years Ruddi battled through intensive treatment, including chemotherapy, the children’s cancer charity Candlelighters gave Ruddi and his family a week’s holiday at Primrose Valley Caravan Park near Filey.
Ruddi took his first steps there and it gave his family the chance to spend some special time together. Ali decided other families should also have that same opportunity so she set up Ruddi’s Retreat which meant others could go to the caravan park for a badly needed break.
The charity now owns four caravans on the site and has helped more than 1,000 families over the last 10 years.
Demand remains high so Ali has just launched a £50,000 appeal to mark the 10 years to buy a fifth caravan but this time put it on the west coast, possibly near Blackpool. The charity’s patron is Sarah, Duchess of York, who recently got the ball rolling by donating £5,000.
People are urged to do their own fundraising events for Ruddi’s and businesses are urged to adopt Ruddi’s as their charity for the year.
For more information on Ruddi’s Retreat go to http://www.ruddisretreat.org/
* Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting. Copyright Andy Hirst.