On the weekend of 12th and 13th May 2012, four Hope Walks took place across the country. The Leeds Bradford Hope Walk was organised for a second year by Gary Beck from Idle in West Yorkshire. Below Gary writes about the day.
Well, what can I say - another fantastic turnout for our second Hope Walk on Sunday 13 May 2012. The route was the same as last year, from the Railway Inn at Rodley, along the canal bank to Apperley Bridge and then back again - just short of 5 miles.
As well as our celebrity walkers (Natalie Anderson from Emmerdale, Chris Fountain from Coronation Street, Philip Hill-Pearson (Shameless), Damon Scully (Keep Bradford British) and Jack Franklin (Olympic Torch Bearer), we had around 110 other walkers, young, old, two legged and four legged who all gave up their Sunday to raise funds for the Trust for which we are extremely grateful.
Thanks to Natalie for her pre-walk speech, reminding people why we were there and also to Donna for her warm up routine, which I always think is the funniest part of the walk, watching the faces of people whilst stretching and twisting, some who have obviously not moved as much for many a year, myself included.
Luckily, as last year, the rain held off but there was a bitingly cold wind which unfortunately meant a lot of people had to put their warm coats over their Myotubular Trust t-shirts but it was still a wonderful sight seeing all these lovely walkers setting off together and helping our cause.
Even though the weather was cold and cloudy, the warmth of these people shone through.
I think most people seemed to enjoy the walk, even the ones that were aching afterwards.
We had friends and family that came all the way from Nottingham, Doncaster, Hull and Manchester to be with us on the day and two people that had been working through the night. Chris Fountain even drove from Manchester after working most of the night and our friend Vicky came straight from working a night shift.
I spent most of the first half walking with Darran and Mandy from Doncaster and avoided being pushed in the canal by Mandy. Darran who has centronuclear myopathy managed the whole walk, with a few pauses for fresh air. He was lesson in strength and determination as I know how much pain he was in afterwards.
A lot of our walkers were doing their second Hope Walk and lots even said to put their names down again for next year. It will be my pleasure and I would love to see as many as possible again next year. Don't worry, those nice ladies at the Myotubular Trust can do anything so I'll ask them to book some sunshine for 2013.
Finally I would like to thank Asda, Pudsey for supplying us with cereal bars, Dave and Max from Idle Cricket Club for the bottled water, Tesco's Peel Centre for their help, Ideaz in Thackley for some balloons, plus family and friends for their help with catering and other things on the day.
Most of all I would like to thank every single one of our wonderful walkers and of course everyone at the Myotubular Trust for their help and support in getting this off the ground and for the work you do for us every day.
See you all next year.