Mum’s death inspires Neil to embark on Asian trek for charity

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A LURGAN man is part of team who raised £120,000 for Marie Curie via a trek in Cambodia.

Neil Totten (34) was inspired to take up the challenge following the death of his mother Joan and his friend David Stevenson to cancer.

Neil said: “My mum died in February 2011 of pancreatic cancer and I’d always wanted to do something to remember her.

“My friends had done treks before but this was my first one. After my mum died last year and then Davy passed away at the start of this year they said to me I should do the trek in Cambodia and raise money for Marie Curie in their memory.”

Neil knew David through Lurgan Rugby Club and it was at the club that Neil put on one of a number of fundraisers for the week-long trek.

Neil said: “I knew three of the ones going to Cambodia - Alison Liggett, Dave Flynn and Kat Flynn. Now I have 38 new friends from the trek.

“We formed such a good team and everyone looked out for each other. It was a real team effort to complete the trek. There were people taking part of all different age groups and abilities.

“Everyone had their personal reasons for doing the trek and it was inspiring to hear what was motivating everyone.”

He added: “The highlights were when you stopped to see some of the poor areas in Cambodia. My sister works in Sainsbury’s and they donated Olympic 2012 clothes and bags for me to take out. The children were in pyjamas they might have been wearing for weeks. Their faces lit up when we gave them the stuff.”

The week-long trek was run by Global Adventures and in total the adventurers raised £120,000 for Marie Curie.