Sir Ian Botham today (8 September 2011) returned to Lords to launch his Great British Walk 2012 to beat childhood blood cancers, 30 years after almost single-handedly winning the Ashes.
The cricketing legend was joined by 13 local heroes - children with leukaemia who will join him in each of the towns he will visit on his 14th walk to beat childhood blood cancers in April, next year.
Since his first legendary walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End, Beefy has been determined to beating childhood blood cancers – raising over £13 million for blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
In 1985 only 20% of children survived the most common form of childhood leukaemia, now more than 90% survive this disease. 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, who is President of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, says: “These kids are living proof of the improvements in treatments that have been achieved since my 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. But I need people to sign up to join me on the walk and start fundraising. We need to ensure that every child diagnosed with one of these blood cancers will survive. I won’t stop until we’ve beaten childhood blood cancer, but I can’t do it without you.”
Beefy will be walking through ten towns over ten days from 12 - 21 April. Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s local heroes will each join him on different stages of his walk. Every day Beefy will complete up to 20 miles starting from the the town centre before joining people who have raised sponsorship in a local park.
The route will take in:
Thursday 12 April - Glasgow (Drumpellier Park)
Friday 13 April – Newcastle (Gibside Park)
Saturday 14 April – Leeds (Nostell Priory)
Sunday 15 April – Manchester (Tatton Park)
Monday 16 April – Sheffield (Longshaw Estate)
Tuesday 17 April – Birmingham (Clent Hills)
Wednesday 18 April - Cardiff (The Taff Trail)
Thursday 19 April – Norwich (Bure Valley Railway)
Friday 20 April – Cambridge (Wimpole Estate)
Saturday 21 April – London (Ham House & Garden, Richmond)
Sir Ian says: “I need people to sign up now and make this my best walk ever.”
If you would like to join Sir Ian on one of his walks please phone 020 7685 1022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.beatingbloodcancers.org.uk/beefywalk2012. Alternatively people can sponsor Beefy on www.justgiving.com/beefywalk2012 .