Woman’s 1,000-mile challenge raises money for hospital appeal

Judie McCourt, who has completed a 1,000-mile challenge for charity Picture: SUPPLIED BY JUDIE MCCOU

Judie McCourt, who has completed a 1,000-mile challenge for charity Picture: SUPPLIED BY JUDIE MCCOURT - Credit: Archant

A Bury St Edmunds woman has completed a 1,000-mile challenge to raise money for an appeal at the town’s hospital.

Judie McCourt, of Horringer Road, began the challenge on January 28 last year and was able to complete the distance by December 23.

The 56-year-old, who had surgery following a breast cancer diagnosis in November 2017, completed nearly 50 routes across Suffolk during the year as well as walks in Scotland, Northumberland, Anglesey, Devon and Cornwall.

She memorably walked across the Humber Bridge and along the River Thames in London from Battersea to Greenwich to raise £2,500 for the My WiSH Charity’s Love Your Nodes appeal.

The charity, which supports West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, launched the Love Your Nodes campaign in July 2016, with the aim of raising £25,000 for a SentiMag machine to help with the removal of lymph nodes for breast cancer patients.

The campaign reached its target after just six months but has continued to raise money as each vial of beads used in the SentiMag machine costs £200 per patient.

Mrs McCourt said: “After surgery and radiotherapy, I looked for a way to raise money for the amazing team at West Suffolk.

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“Not only for me, as it turned out, but on behalf of my mother, who also had surgery for breast cancer two months to the day after I did.

“The hardest part of the walk was during the summer when we had the heat wave and it was good to get that out of the way and to just keep going and as the target got closer it got easier.”

Mrs McCourt, who volunteers at the Suffolk Regiment Museum on Out Risbygate, also thanked the support of family and friends.

“Many of my walks were alone, which was very good for processing my experience with cancer - I would definitely recommend walking for mental health,” she said.

“I need to thank my husband Martin and my family and friends for their support, as well as friends, family and work colleagues for the financial support.

“Special mention must be made to Liz and Tony at the Rose and Crown pub on Westgate Street. They run a charity pub quiz on a monthly basis and raised £250 which they donated to my cause.”

Amy Hatch, My WiSH Charity fundraising officer, said: “We are so proud of Judie for taking on this challenge and completing it with such determination, she is most definitely an inspiration.

“It has been a pleasure to follow her story and she has raised an incredible amount of money which will help future patients needing to use the sentiMag machine.”

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