Hartlepool cancer care fundraisers remember tragic friend at annual charity walk

A group of friends who hold an annual walk for cancer care did so this year in memory of one of the regular attenders.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 12:17 pm

The group, who walk from Hartlepool Marina to Seaton Carew every year, held it in tribute to their close friend Karen McIntosh.

Karen, who sadly died earlier this year at the age of 55, was a member of the group and helped to raise thousands of pounds for breast cancer care at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

This year the group – who raised £1,765 – wanted to donate the funds this year to the trust’s Macmillan cancer information centre.

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Many walkers this year wore pink in memory of Karen McIntosh.

The group will use the funds to go towards their work giving holistic support and advice to people with cancer.

This was after the organiser Val Kitching asked Karen’s parents, Elaine and Peter Smith, which charity they would like to choose this year.

Val, who visits the University Hospital of Hartlepool every year to present the funds, said: “This event has always been so special to all of us involved. But this year held a particular significance.

“It was a fabulous and successful morning with 25 people in total, on a day full of sunshine and everyone wore pink.

The late Karen McIntosh

“We want to thank everyone who took part for such a special cause, raising such a fantastic sum for cancer care at our local NHS trust.

Val, along with Karen’s mum Elaine and Karen’s lifelong friend Jo Weatherill, visited cancer information centre manager Alan Chandler earlier this week to present the funds.

Further donations were raised, online, amounting to £1,130, going directly to Macmillan Cancer Support charity with £730 raised by Bailey Group Peterlee, Karen’s employer.

Another £500 was collected at Karen’s funeral for the chemotherapy unit at Hartlepool hospital.

From left, Karen’s lifelong friend Jo Weatherill, Macmillan cancer information manager Alan Chandler, Karen’s mum, Elaine Smith, and walk organiser Val Kitching

Karen, who was from Hartlepool, received treatment at the unit while battling cancer.

Mr Chandler said: “Thank you to everyone who took part for raising what is a magnificent sum of money.

“One of the initiatives we have is a craft and chat group who make special cushions for our breast care patients.

“Part of the funds the walkers have helped raise will go towards the materials we need to buy for these cushions.

“It’s going to a fantastic cause. We really appreciate it.”

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