Adam O
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Friends raise £15,000 trekking across the Sahara Desert

Adam O
Posted by
14 Apr 2015

Young cancer patient Holly Williams and her three friends completed a 100km trek across the Sahara Desert last month raising an incredible £15,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Holly, 31, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2012 and underwent a course of chemotherapy. Thankfully she has now been in remission for more than 12 months.

Taking part in the five day trek alongside Holly were Hannah Boyd (30), Michelle Shamtally (36) and Rebecca (Becky) Aris (32). The group of friends have known each other for around ten years from either university or playing for Hampton Netball Club.

Speaking about her reasons for taking on the challenge, Holly said: “I decided I wanted to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the charity that had done a lot of research into the treatment and prevention of the cancer I was diagnosed with, so that in the future others in my position would get to make a full recovery.

“I'm not sure I necessarily had a ‘hardest part’ on the trek. I was lucky in that whenever it got tough I could look around and remember why I was there and how far I had come. That was a real inspiration. Plus, no part of the trip was ever going to be as hard as the chemotherapy so it was always going to be fun!

“I definitely have a ‘best part’ though and that was sharing the experience with Hannah, Michelle and Becky. My friends and family have been such a support during and after my diagnosis and treatment. I felt truly lucky to be able to share such an amazing experience with three of my best friends who were there for me through the bad times. They have been, and continue to be there for me when I need them and I wouldn't have wanted to do the trek without them.”

Becky added: “It was a very scary time for all of us when Holly was diagnosed with lymphoma and made it even more important to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. The challenge was definitely hard but all the physical training we’d done certainly helped. The sunset and sunrises were more spectacular than I'd anticipated, as were the night skies.

“It was an amazing opportunity to share this fantastic experience and impressive achievement for Holly and the many people affected by cancer. Cancer seems to be inevitable, whether to experience it personally or be close to someone else who is experiencing it. You can’t just ignore it, we have to do what we can to raise awareness and raise funds for crucial research.”

Matt Lawley, Head of Sports Events at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “We are constantly inspired by the stories of those fundraising for us and the dedication of our supporters like Holly, Hannah, Michelle and Becky. Every penny raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research will help us in our mission – stopping people from dying and making patients’ lives better.”

To support Holly and friends visit their fundraising page.

There is also a highlights video of the trek which you can watch here.



Absolutley phenomenal effort by the team! I followed Becky's blog in the build up and know how much time and effort they put in to both the training and fundraising. So, so happy for them!

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