Walk raises £2k in memory of Wirksworth man Peter

Two teenagers put their best foot forward on one of the hottest days of the year to raise more than £2,000 for Anthony Nolan.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 11:27 am
Updated Friday, 4th June 2021, 11:37 am
Ella McCarthy and Immy Poole are fundraising for Anthony Nolan

Ella McCarthy, of Wirksworth, and Immy Poole raised money for the charity, by walking the distance of a marathon on Bank Holiday Monday, May 31.

Ella, aged 17, began her quest after her dad Peter – a member of Wirksworth Running Club – had an acute, aggressive form of leukaemia and despite a stem cell transplant, died when she was nine years old. Immy got involved after a former teacher died from the disease,

In January Ella signed-up to the stem cell register. She then shared this and encouraged at least 20 other people to join. However, she then heard that each test cost £40 – so she decided to raise money to cover the costs.

Peter was a community and diabetes specialist nurse in Derbyshire.

So at 7am on what was a cool bank holiday morning the pair set off from Wirksworth walking over fields to eventually join the High Peak Trail – getting to just over mid-point at Parsley Hay, ahead of schedule. They had been joined by friends and family at different points along the way, helping to cover 14 miles in less than five hours.

The return leg, using mostly the trail was much tougher in the heat. Another four hours later, by 5.30 pm they were still on the trail and digging deep into their reserves. A few feet injuries now making things very tough.

Despite this, a welcoming party of around 20 supporters in Wirksworth made a special finish to the day, giving them a round of applause as they walked down The Dale to finish at the market place.

So far they have raised more than £2,200 and have encouraged more people to join. They would love to raise more and raise the profile of stem cell donation for Anthony Nolan or via charity DKMS if people are older and want to donate.

Ella’s mum, Jannine McCarthy, said: “It’s so refreshing and inspiring to see teenagers taking on a cause close to their hearts and organising this themselves. Donations are still coming in, so thank you for giving and sharing, the donation page will remain open for two more weeks if people would like to donate to this cause in memory of Ella’s dad Peter. Ella and Immy would like to say ‘thankyou’ to everyone!

“We’d like to say well done Ella and Immy – and to their friends for walking several miles with them on their marathon route –raising money and awareness for the charity Anthony Nolan, saving the lives of people with blood cancer.”

Ella described her motivation for taking on the challenge: “My dad passed away on 19th March 2014 after a two year battle with leukaemia. Despite the outcome of my dad’s illness, the bone marrow transplant that was made possible by Anthony Nolan gave him the chance of a longer life to experience with us, his family. We are grateful that he was given the opportunity to have this lifesaving treatment, without this my dad would have had almost no chance of survival and would’ve passed away much sooner.”

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ellaandimmy