5 years after receiving treatment for a nasty Head and Neck cancer, Caroline Outterside, considers herself as one of the lucky ones and wants to give back. Accompanied by her friend she walked an epic 192 miles coast-to-coast and raised an incredible £1,393 for Oracle Cancer Trust.
Whilst researching Caroline learned that since the early 90's, cases of Head and Neck cancers had increased by 35% in the UK and explains: “Head and Neck cancer isn’t discussed much because it is a dreadful and debilitating place to get a cancer. But it is on the rise and people need to be more aware because it is often treatable if symptoms are acted upon quickly.
This insight and her own personal experience inspired her to take on an epic challenge of tackling the 192 miles long Wainwright coast-to-coast walk to raise vital funds that would help raise awareness, fund research and support patients and families experiencing Head and Neck cancers. Her lifelong friend Anna from Australia travelled over to the UK to walk beside her from St Bees in the Lake District to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire.
What made you pick this challenge?
“I’m a northern girl at heart having done most of my growing up in Yorkshire, so Alfred Wainwright’s coast-to-coast had a certain special appeal for me, especially having the chance to walk it with my lifelong bestie who was over from Australia.”
She continued: “In treatment in 2018, I wouldn’t have dreamed doing the walk was ever possible. Even if I survived cancer, the side effects of treatment, such as the unpredictable long-lasting ones like fatigue, might always rule something that requires a lot of physical effort out. But the motivation to get moving, recover fitness and raise money and awareness for Head and Neck cancer was a great recipe to get walking with my 3-year-old lab! I’m a great believer that walking helps all our body cells recover, aka The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, which was also a motivator.”
What did you enjoy most about this experience?
“The highlights of the trip were the people as much as the places. A shared extreme experience helps folk connect and all were kind and helpful and willing to talk easily. There was fabulous scenery across the entire route and many challenges on rocks, bogs and rivers, and of course wet weather!”
We wanted to know what it felt like to cross that finish line after a gruelling two weeks walking and Caroline exclaimed: “There are so many things that can go wrong on such a long walk so finishing was a highlight- seeing the North Sea and throwing out pebbles from the Atlantic in it was a great moment. I feel satisfied and healthy now I’ve finished and still have an urge to walk and I’m missing it already!”
Caroline very kindly shared her experience with us, which you can discover here.
Want to join #TeamOracle for a walking challenge?
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