A great grandad who has had cancer for 11 years is walking 60 miles over three days to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Ralph White, 77, from Walney, in Barrow-in-Furness, has so far walked just under 40 miles around the building of Ulverston Leisure Centre over two days (27 and 29 November).
His third walk will take place in between Christmas and New Year and Ralph has yet to decide where to complete the last leg of his mammoth walk.
At the end of last year, the pensioner walked two miles every day for 10 days – just weeks after having a major operation – and raised more than £4,000 for Derian House in the process.
“We first became aware of the charity 10 years ago when a friend’s grandson became poorly and Derian House helped them out a lot,” said Ralph.
“I just couldn’t understand why it was 60 or more miles to our local children’s hospice. That’s how far you have to go to get those services – we had no idea it covered such a large area. There is very little else offered between here and there. We have supported the hospice ever since.
“After my first challenge, I visited Derian House and we were very impressed with all they do for the children they care for. On our visit, we saw all the facilities. There was a family enjoying themselves in the pool, and we had a look at the cinema and the sensory room filled with colourful bright lights. We saw the area where young adults can have a bit more independence. It’s a fantastic place.
“I think that making memories is especially important for children – and that’s what Derian House offers,” continued Ralph.
“After having cancer for 11 years of my life, I’m just grateful to be alive – and every moment you have is important. It makes me realise how lucky we are to have three healthy children and eight healthy grandchildren. It’s why I am choosing to give back to families who might not be so lucky.”
Ralph has so far raised almost £700 on his 60-mile challenge and has been resting to prepare himself for his final walk.
Derian House provides care to 400 seriously ill babies, children and young people and their families across Lancashire, south Cumbria and Greater Manchester.
Ellie Smith, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “We are in absolute awe of what Ralph has managed to achieve – what a legend. With each step, he is not only raising money for our children and families, but raising awareness of what we do at Derian House too.
“It will cost £6million to run services at Derian House in 2023 and we couldn’t do what we do without our brave and kind-hearted supporters – just like Ralph.”
Ralph was treated at The Christie in Manchester.
Donate to Ralph’s 60 mile challenge for Derian House: https://www.justgiving.com/page/joanne-ward-1699797834918
Find out more about Derian House: www.derianhouse.co.uk