A Marton resident, who lost his young daughter to a rare form of childhood leukaemia, is urging people across Middlesbrough to join him, his wife Claire, family and friends in celebrating her life by walking to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Mike Wren is asking people to step up and take part in the Middlesbrough Forget Me Not Walk and help the charity ensure other families are spared the pain of losing a loved one.
Mike’s daughter Charlotte was just three-years-old when she died from juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) in 2007. The walk in Stewart Park, where Charlotte played, will be particularly poignant for Mike as it takes place on Father’s Day.
“I’m still Charlotte’s daddy and always will be,” says Mike, 43. “We’ll never forget Charlotte and want to raise as much money as we possibly can so it can be invested in research, which we know makes such a difference to so many families touched by blood cancers”.
Since her tragic death Mike, his wife Claire, and their friends and family have worked tirelessly in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which was founded in Middlesbrough 50 years ago by the devoted parents of Susan Eastwood, who died from leukaemia aged just six.
Susan’s sister Sylvia Gaunt has helped to organise the walk and is a dedicated supporter of the charity. Sylvia, Mike, Claire and close family members will make an emotional journey from the Eastwood family’s former home in Langridge Crescent, where Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research first began, to Stewart Park before the other walkers assemble.
Mike says: “This walk is dedicated to the memories of two very special girl’s of Middlesbrough - Susan Eastwood and Charlotte Wren. Sadly, Susan and Charlotte lost their battles against leukaemia, but this walk is a celebration of their lives and the courage that they both showed to others.
The family-friendly Middlesbrough Forget Me Not Walk on Sunday 20 June is being supported by Middlesbrough Council, which has adopted Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research as its Charity of the Year.
Starting from near the car park of Stewart Park at 10am, walkers can choose between two routes, either a two-mile walk around Stewart Park, suitable for everyone of all abilities, or a five-mile walk to Ormesby Hall and back for those looking for a more challenging route.
Throughout the day walkers and their families can enjoy a live band playing Beatles music, with fairground rides and face painting for the children.
Those wishing to join in should contact Arun Malhotra on 0191 2821393 or visit www.forgetmenotwalks.com. The entry fee is £7.50 for adults, £5 for children aged 12 and under, and just £20 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children. The fee includes a t-shirt and medal.