Sir Ian Botham is known to millions around the world as one of the legends of English cricket – but since 1985 he's also become known for his charity walks.
He embarked on his first walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 1985, after meeting children with leukaemia in a Taunton Hospital who he was told would not survive. Back then, only 20% of children survived the most common form of childhood leukaemia; now more than 90% of children survive.
Since this first walk, Sir Ian – also known as ‘Beefy’ – has completed numerous walking challenges, including two from John O’Groats to Land’s End, the Hannibal Trek over the Alps with elephants, and the Great British Walk in 2012.
With unwavering public support, Beefy has helped to raise over £13 million for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. But there are still children and teenagers losing their battle. Sir Ian is determined to keep walking until every child survives blood cancer.
Sir Ian said, “these kids are living proof of the improvements in treatments that have been achieved since the first walk in 1985. But children are still dying and for those that survive, the treatments can be gruelling.
“I never forget why I put myself through the pain and blisters. We need to ensure that every child diagnosed with blood cancer will survive and I will not stop until we beat childhood blood cancer.”
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