Cancer patients and survivors step up for charity walk

People from across Surrey and the South East joined Royal Surrey Charity on Sunday (16 October) for our inaugural sponsored walk, Stride for Cancer Care.

The walk – which was celebrating 25 years of incredible care at St Luke’s Cancer Centre in Guildford – saw cancer patients, cancer survivors, those walking in memory of a loved one, and NHS staff come together to take on 10K, 15K and 25K distances, to raise money to support cancer care at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust.

Register interest for Stride for Cancer Care 2023

Image shows a man and two women wearing a t-shirt which reads: Stride for Cancer Care and Royal Surrey Charity.

Susan Jones from Guildford (pictured above), who was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer earlier in March this year, completed the 10K challenge – despite only finishing chemotherapy treatment 12 weeks ago. She said:

“I wanted to do the walk for St Luke’s to give back and say a massive thank you. The staff are amazing: they treat you so well and with such respect and kindness.

“Cancer has got into our lives quite a lot at the minute – it’s a horrible disease that affects so many. But without St Luke’s I wouldn’t be here. Back when I was having chemo, I didn’t imagine I’d be here doing this walk today. I got the ‘all clear’ at my follow up appointment last week, so today felt like a celebration.”

Officially opened 25 years ago by Queen Elizabeth II on 21 February 1997, St Luke’s treated around 2,500 patients in its first year. Today, the centre typically conducts over 60,000 outpatient appointments a year.

Image shows man with his back to the camera, wearing a t-shirt which reads: IPhil Gardner (pictured), HR Business Partner at Royal Surrey, took part in the challenging 25K walk in memory of his father, Eddie, who sadly died of bowel cancer six years ago and who he says he’ll always remember as ‘brave’.

When asked how he found the walk, he said:

“It’s been the perfect day: great weather, great walk…I’ve enjoyed meeting people along the way. And there’s some food at the end, so that’s precious. I like the down bits more than the up bits, I have to admit!”

The walk, which started and finished at Surrey Sports Park, has raised over £21,000, with sponsorship money still coming in.

Sandy Lowry, Events Fundraising Manager at Royal Surrey Charity, said: “We are so thankful to everyone who showed up to support Stride for Cancer Care and to all our wonderful volunteers – there was such a great atmosphere on the day and we heard so many inspiring stories from our walkers.

“The money raised will make a huge difference to so many lives affected by cancer – funding lifesaving equipment and innovative treatments, supporting staff wellbeing so they can continue to give the very best care, and enhancing the centre to make it more comfortable and welcoming for all our patients.

“We hope the event will be back next autumn – bigger and better and raising even more funds for cancer care. Register your interest now for next year’s event.”

Royal Surrey Charity is the dedicated charity for Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, supporting the Royal Surrey and St Luke’s in Guildford, and community hospitals at Haslemere, Milford and Cranleigh.

Thank you to the following individuals and companies who kindly donated their time and services to the event, including:

Photography by Zoe 
Beth Cook Photography
Happy Balloons Company 

Inspired to make strides for cancer care?

Register interest for Stride for Cancer Care 2023

Photo credit: Photography by Zoe