Moon Walk raises cancer awareness

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FORMER Lurgan women Joanne and Sarah Ferry (nee Kennedy) set out to take part in a Midnight Walk or ‘Moon Walk’ through the streets of London last weekend in aid of breast cancer awareness.

They took part in this event in memory of their aunt, Dr Mary Welsh (nee Headley), who’s anniversary was last weekend.

Mary, who died of breast cancer on May 13 last year, was formerly a psychiatrist and a highly respected doctor at Craigavon Area Hospital.

Sarah said: “When we heard the walk was happening this year on her anniversary we decided it would be a very fitting tribute to her so we registered for it.

“It’s called the Moon Walk and basically it’s a half marathon walk (13.1 miles) through the streets of London starting at 12 midnight on May 12.”

The family members thought that this would be a special way to mark Mary’s anniversary.

Joanne and Sarah were joined by a number of relatives when taking part in the walk including Mary’s sisters Anita Kennedy, Karen Smyth and Jennifer O’Connor along with Jim Smith, Ciaran Headley and his daughters Elaine Cassidy and Emma Headley.

All the money that has been raised will go to a variety of breast cancer charities in the UK and NI ranging from research to wigs, head cooling treatments, cancer screening and financial aid for patients.

The family was also walking in memory of Mary’s mother, who died of breast cancer in the 90s.

Joanne, Sarah and the rest of the family all took part in raising sponsorship for the event.

The event is run each year by the online charity ‘Walk the Walk’.

This charity began 15 years ago when just 13 women walked the New York City Marathon in their bras to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.

Although this was originally supposed to be a one-off fundraising event, it has grown and become a multi-million pound charity.

So far the charity has raised in excess of £75 million for different breast cancer causes.

After completing the Moon Walk Sarah said: “It was a truly memorable experience which will live with us forever.

“15,000 people took park in the power walking marathon, which as you can imagine in the streets was quite a sight.

“The route took us round Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and The Mall, London Bridge, The London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral. It started exactly at midnight and finished just as dawn broke.

“As a family we have raised over £2,000 for the charity and of course all donations are gratefully received via the online web page.”

Although this particular charity event is over, the family still want to raise more money for cancer causes as well as breast cancer awareness.

If anyone would like to make a donation towards the cause they can visit the web page set up in memory of Mary at http://www.justgiving.com/sarah-ferry