Middleton: Grateful dad Jack Rosenthal to attempt ‘poor odds’ solo Pyrennees trek

Asparagus farmer Jack Rosenthal of Middleton, near Leiston Asparagus farmer Jack Rosenthal of Middleton, near Leiston

Sunday, August 10, 2014
6:00 AM

A fruit and vegetable grower has decided to dig deep to thank a charity which helped his daughter after she was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

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Jack Rosenthal, 66, of 30-acre Reckford Farm, Middleton, near Leiston, will take on a 500 mile solo trek across the Pyrennees.

He hopes to raise £5,000 for the Somersham Ward Support Group at Ipswich Hospital. His daughter, Lizzie, now 24, became severely ill with leukemia three years ago and was treated there, as well as at Addenbrooke’s hospital, where she was given a stem cell transplant after two possible matches were found for her.

“She was pretty touch and go for a while,” he said. “She survived, and has nominated the support group as her chosen charity for any funds I can raise by seeking sponsorship for walking the Atlantic-Mediterranean GR10 route this autumn.”

The west to east walk, which he aims to start around September 1, will take him from near Biarritz on the Atlantic coast across the ‘neck’ linking France and Spain.

“It’s pretty steep. I did do four days of this once and I remember thinking anyone who does the whole thing must be nuts,” he admitted.

“The odds on completing this walk are not too good. I can’t start until too late in the season, facilities in the mountains will be shutting down, the weather may crack up, I may crack up. It’s an awfully long way up and down and I will be 67. But worth a try. People I saw on the ward did not give up because of poor odds.”

Cancer was a common illness, which up to one in three of us could develop at some point, he said.

“Even if we are lucky, inevitably, there will be those close to us who are not. It’s then, when life’s priorities are brutally re-shuffled, that small things can make big differences to patients and their supporters.

“The Somersham Ward Support Group knows this and strives to make life a little more comfortable for patients, families and friends who find their lives re-centred around the oncology ward of the Ipswich Hospital. The group provides furniture, refreshments, equipment, family accommodation and garden areas- anything in fact that might make things a little easier.”

Even though he only launched his charity fundraising drive this week, Jack is already a quarter of the way towards his target figure, he said.

If you would like to support Jack, please go to: www.justgiving.com/Jack-RosenthalC2C/

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