It’s been a year in the making and now Judie McCourt has completed her 1,000-mile walk helping to raise money for a hospital appeal.
She joined the #walk1000miles challenge last year and began her treks on January 28 eventually completed the distance on December 23.
The walks were mainly from her home in Horringer Road, Bury St Edmunds, but she has also walked in Scotland, East Anglia, Northumberland, Anglesey, Devon and Cornwall, and completed nearly 50 routes across Suffolk, and memorably walked across the Humber Bridge and along the River Thames in London from Battersea to Greenwich.
During that time she managed to raise £2,500 which has been donated to the My Wish Charity’s Love Your Nodes appeal.
She also took part in the challenge in a bid to get fit again after being diagnosed with breast cancer back in November 2017 and having surgery followed by radiotherapy.
She said: “The longest walk I did was with our oldest daughter along St Edmunds Way from Thetford to Bury St Edmunds – by road it’s about 13 miles, but the walk was over 19 miles. Many of my walks were alone, which was very good for processing my experience with cancer – I would definitely recommend walking for mental health.
“I need to thank my husband Martin and my family and friends for their support, as well as friends, family and work colleagues for the financial support. Special mention must be made to Liz and Tony at the Rose and Crown pub on Westgate Street. They run a charity pub quiz on a monthly basis and raised £250 which they donated to my cause.
“Since completing my walk I was continuing the habit not only of walking but of logging my miles. I had walked 95 miles in 2019 when I broke my ankle when out for a walk. When I am mobile again I will certainly continue to walk,” added Judie, who is currently carrying out volunteer work at the Suffolk Regiment Museum.
The 56-year-old told how she had a mammogram back in October 2017 and was recalled back to the West Suffolk Hospital later that month with surgery taking place in November.
“After surgery and radiotherapy I looked for a way to raise money for the amazing team at the West Suffolk, for their Love Your Nodes campaign,” she said.
“Not only for me, as it turned out, but on behalf of my mother, who also had surgery for breast cancer two months to the day after I did. The hardest part of the walk was during the summer when we had the heat wave and it was good to get that out of the way and to just keep going and as the target got closer it got easier.”
The My WiSH Charity launched the Love Your Nodes campaign in July 2016 with the aim of raising £25,000 for a SentiMag machine to help with the removal of lymph nodes for breast cancer patients and just six months after the launch it had reached its target.
However, the campaign hasn’t ended there. Each vial of beads used in the SentiMag machine costs £200 per patient so the charity continues to fundraise to ensure the cost of these are covered to help all the future patients at West Suffolk Hospital.
Amy Hatch, My WiSH Charity fundraising officer, said: “We are so proud of Judie for taking on this challenge and completing it with such determination, she is most definitely an inspiration! It has been a pleasure to follow her story and she has raised an incredible amount of money which will help future patients needing to use the sentiMag machine.”
Pictured above is Judie McCourt on the banks of the River Thames in London.