Worthy cause outweighs bad weather for Sunset Walk


A SEA of women in pink took to the coastline to trek in memory and support of breast cancer victims. Nearly 2,000 walkers put on their brightest pink clothes, hats and even wigs to raise money for the Pink Ladies, despite damp and windy conditions for the Sunset Coastal Walk.

Many of the participants were completing the coastal challenge for personal and often emotional reasons, giving them extra incentive to support the worthy cause.

Among them was St Peter Port resident Lottie Barnes, 39, who was walking with two friends from Manchester, who all met when they were diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago. She said they had all now been told there was no evidence of the disease and wanted to complete the challenge to support others.

‘The positive thing is it brought us together, but it does affect your life in ways you would not imagine,’ she said.

Her friends, Ruth Brown and Helen Sharples, both 51, said the diagnosis had rocked their lives, but they were keen to support such a fantastic cause.

Another walker who had fought off the disease was Helen Bates, 49, who was walking with her pet Labrador Retriever Holly. ‘When you first get diagnosed, it completely shakes your world,’ she said. ‘I don’t think anyone expects to have it. You get through it though and people like the Pink Ladies are fantastic.
‘They are there for you every step of the way and for your family as well.’

Mother Caroline Harris, of St Martin’s, was equally keen to support the cause.
‘People I know have been affected by cancer and I have a friend who is currently having to have treatment. ‘I think this is something that affects everybody. I think everyone here has been touched somehow.’

All money raised stays in the island and helps with everything from the breast care unit to paying for home help for those recovering from treatment.

There was a crowd of pink as women gathered at Grandes Rocques to start the 10.5-mile route, while the shorter route of about 3.5 miles began at Bordeaux. They joined together at the end for a party in Market Square.

Grabbing plenty of attention at the second start point was Splash the pony, who trotted out in pink to make a special appearance. Her owner, Summer Broe, 24, got permission to take along her pet pony and stood out from the crowd in her own outfit, complete with multi-coloured hair and her face painted like the Cheshire Cat character from Alice in Wonderland.

Organisers wanted to thank everyone who had joined the walk and helped out on the day, despite the bad weather. So far about £50,000 has been collected and this year’s event is on track to match the £92,000 raised at the last Sunset Walk in 2011.

Co-organiser Amanda Brown said they were so grateful for the continued support for the event, which is held every two years. ‘Guernsey women have done Guernsey proud,’ she said. ‘This is something people are very passionate about and it is great to see all the girls coming together.’

See tomorrow’s Guernsey Press for more coverage of this year’s Pink Ladies’ Sunset Coastal Walk.

Article and pictures courtesy of the Guernsey Press & Star.
Picture : Left to right: Elizabeth Went, Ruth Brown, Lottie Barnes and Helen Sharples at the start of the walk.

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