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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Walkers raise cash in memory of Jack - from the files of the Evening Star

WALKERS raised hundreds of pounds for a charity by taking part in an event in memory of a 12-year-old boy who died after losing his courageous fight with cancer.

Members of the Felixstowe fundraising committee for Cancer Research UK agreed the annual triple walks should carry Jack Wilkinson's name to mark his bravery and the caring he showed for others.

Jack's mum and dad, Caz and Karl Wilkinson did the event's nine-mile circular walk - leading off the walkers as they set off from the start and finish point, Foxgrove Retirement Home, High Road East, Old Felixstowe.

Cancer committee chairman Richard Bradshaw said: “They really enjoyed the walk and were thrilled that we had named it after Jack.

“They brought Jack's dog along, too, to join in, and I am sure Jack was there walking with them in spirit.”

More than 35 people took part in the nine-mile walk around the town and seafront, and a smaller number did the 1.5 mile walk. No-one this year took the five-mile walk.

It is not yet known how much has been raised but Scott and Amy Fairburn raised more than £400 between them.

A woman suffering with arthritis did the 1.5 mile walk and felt so well she then did it twice more.

“I think overall the day was a great success - it was perfect conditions for walking,” said Mr Bradshaw.

“We are very proud to have named the walks after Jack because he was such a brave and caring youngster, who always put the wellbeing of others before that of himself, even to the very end of his short life.

“We hope even more will take part in future years to help us raise money to fight this horrendous disease.”

Jack, of Fairfield Avenue, Felixstowe, was first diagnosed with a rare form of bladder cancer when he was just two years old.

The family moved to Felixstowe from Wiltshire in 1997 and for the next eight years everything seemed fine as Jack's disease went into remission.

But in April 2005 they were hit with the bombshell that the cancer had returned. Scores of tests and trips to hospitals followed and then last year the family were given the news they had dreaded as doctors said he had only a short time to live. He died last year.

What do you think of dedicating the walks to Jack's memory? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk


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