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Mum walks 178 miles from Arthur Rank Hospice to Liverpool FC in memory of her son Daniel.

10 April 2019

Angela McGrath and her daughter Lorna set off on an epic 178 mile walk from Cambridge to Liverpool in March 2019, raising funds for Arthur Rank Hospice in memory of their son and brother, Daniel. 
Angela and Lorna setting off from Arthur Rank Hospice on their walk to Liverpool FC
Angela explains why she was so motivated:

“The reason I did this walk was to keep a promise to my son Daniel, who sadly passed away in the Hospice on 10 June at 4.07am. The staff and volunteers were fantastic, not only with Daniel but all the family.” 

The day she and Lorna set off to Liverpool from the Hospice, Thursday 28 March 2019, was exactly a year after Daniel was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer. The family still have strong connections to Liverpool, having lived there until Daniel was 10 years old.

 He still loved anything and everything from Liverpool and got on particularly well with one of the healthcare assistants, Sharon who is from the City and was working on the Inpatient Unit when Daniel was being cared for. It was Daniel’s idea that his family take on the challenge of ‘Walk 2 Liverpool’, to raise funds for the Hospice.
Kane Daniel’s brother (left) Daniel’s sister Lorna (centre) and Mum Angela (right) holding the signed Liverpool Football Club Photo
As part of their efforts to fundraise, the McGrath family even managed to secure a signed Steven Gerrard photo to auction on Arthur Rank Hospice’s Ebay store (we will add a link where you can bid for this, when the auction goes live)! 

In the months before the walk began, Angela’s husband planned a route and she started training with increasingly greater distance walks. As the day grew nearer, she and Lorna became more excited and nervous. 
Angela and Lorna with friends, family and staff from Arthur Rank Hospice waving them off.
On the morning the walk started, their friends and family gathered together to wish them luck and wave them off from the Arthur Rank Hospice at Shelford Bottom. In a stroke of luck, just as they were leaving, Sharon – the same healthcare assistant that Daniel had got on so well with, was arriving at the Hospice to work and was able to give them a big good luck hug. 
Health Care Assistant Sharon giving Angela and Lorna a good luck hug at Arthur Rank Hospice
Unfortunately, at the end of a 25 mile walk to St Ives on day one, Lorna had to pull out due to pains in her legs. Angela carried on alone, despite knowing how hard this would be: 

“I knew it would be hard and it was: I spent the first 3 days crying most of the time. But on I went, the pain in my feet and legs was unbearable at first but the thought of Daniel being in pain all the time with his cancer and not complaining kept me going. 

“I carried a photo of Daniel and would talk to him asking him to give me the strength to carry on some days.  I would start off early in the morning and finish early evening. The closer I came to Liverpool the harder the walking became but found it easier too as I was used to the pain and loneliness. 

“As I arrived at Anfield, my family was there to meet me, and I am so proud of myself for keeping my promise to Daniel.”
Angela reaches Anfield (home of Liverpool FC) after walking 178 miles from Arthur Rank Hospice in memory of her son Daniel
The family would like to thank the Territorial Army Centres who offered Angela overnight shelter on-route and the various Co-op Food stores who generously provided free lunches as they made their way across the country. 

You can still sponsor Angela and Lorna at justgiving.com/fundraising/walk2liverpool. Read more about the background to the challenge by clicking HERE.
Daniel (right) with his brother, Kane (left) and sister, Lorna (centre)
Angela kindly took the time to tell us a bit more about Daniel, what he loved, the sort of person he was and why this walk was a fitting way to remember a remarkable young man. To read her story, please click HERE.

 

 

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