Over the weekend of 27 and 28 March 2021, more than 280 people took part in the ‘Walk for Tom’, helping to raise over £6000 for the Tom Walker fund at Cancer Research Wales.
People of all ages and abilities came together virtually to walk in memory of 13 year-old Tom Walker who died in June 2018 following a short battle with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
Inspired by Tom’s love of the outdoors, some followed their daily route, some took on distances over 10 miles and some walked at night – including Tom’s family, who walked through their local forest, carrying Tom’s rucksack and torch.
Walk for Tom was supported across the globe, with registrations coming from Wales, England, Scotland, Italy, Portugal, India and Kenya.
Former Sky Sports darts presenter Dave Clark took on an eight mile walk through London, while local football team Broomwood FC U15s ran the same course. Another family walked from their home to Buckingham Palace, whilst another trekked the picturesque coastal path of Wales; all proudly wearing their Walk for Tom beanie hats.
Tom’s parents, Tim and Debbie, added:
“Thank you to everyone who supported ‘Walk for Tom’. No matter how far you walked, the important thing for us as a family was that each step was taken remembering Tom and building the legacy that will fund future research into cancer.”
Thanks to the money raised in support of the Tom Walker Fund, in January this year, Cancer Research Wales were able to launch The Tom Walker Scholarship and fund a PhD student at Cardiff University, who will work as part of a team to deliver a £100,000 3-year research project into Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). This exciting project will explore how the new cancer treatment, CAR-T therapy, can be used to treat this rare but aggressive form of blood cancer.
The money raised from the Walk for Tom event will support continuous investment in future lifesaving research projects in honour of Tom which, in turn, will give the hope of a better outcome for cancer patients in Wales.
Ann Tate, CEO of Cancer Research Wales said:
“On behalf of Cancer Research Wales, I’d like to thank each and every individual who supported the recent Walk for Tom event. We are delighted with the response to this new event, which has spread far and wide, and is a fitting tribute to Tom. It is obvious that he touched many lives, demonstrated by the number of people who want to take part in these events, and raise funds to support future cancer research here in Wales.”
For more information on how to support Cancer Research Wales, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org