MOTIVATED fundraisers crossed the border as they walked more than 132 miles to raise money for brave Hartlepool youngster Talia Foster.
Talia’s granddad, George Bromley, was joined by four others in a gruelling effort from Edinburgh to Hartlepool which started last Monday.
The marathon challenge saw the men facing torrential rain and gale force winds as they clocked up to 30 miles every day this week.
The dedicated group were all smiles as they touched down in Hartlepool this morning to bring their tiring ordeal to an end.
“It’s been a brilliant experience,” said George, 53, who lives in Potter Walk, Hartlepool with wife, Joyce.
“There have been some ups and downs and it has been very difficult. But what a feeling to finish. I can’t speak highly enough of the lads who have joined us on this walk, they are the very best.”
George, a dad of two who works for Hartlepool Borough Council, added: “I don’t know how much we have raised yet, it will be confirmed in a couple of weeks but whatever it is I am so proud of everyone involved.”
The funds raised from the gruelling challenge will go towards treatment for Talia, who was recently named a Hartlepool Mail Child of Courage at the Pride of Hartlepool awards.
As reported in the Mail, the courageous two-year old faces a daily ordeal of multiple seizures and physiotherapy and needs eight different types of medication. Kind-hearted fundraisers throughout the town have been helping to raise money to send the youngster to a specialist centre in Oxfordshire for treatment which costs £1,800 a time.
George completed the challenge with fellow Poolie Henry Cooper, 54, from Wolviston Road, in the town. They were also joined by Darren Mason, 44, Jimmy Brown, 49 and 18-year old Ryan Taylor, all from Edinburgh.
Despite been a Hibernian fan, Darren follows Hartlepool and was talking to George after a match earlier this year when they came up with the idea of the walk.
Darren said: “As soon as George explained Talia’s situation we wanted to do something about it.
“We spoke about a walk and then I mentioned that we should go from Scotland to Hartlepool. It sounded a great idea but I didn’t think we would actually do it. I am so glad we have done though.”
The lads were set to be treated to hospitality at Hartlepool United’s game with Yeovil this afternoon.
People in Hartlepool are being urged to lace up their trainers tomorrow and take part in a sponsored walk for the cause.
The walk, from Seaton Carew Cricket Club to Newburn Bridge and back, starts at 12.15pm. For more information, contact Talia’s parents Clair and Brendan Foster on (01429) 861687.