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"Old Fools" from Cleckheaton plan walking challenge for charity
Updated 5:37pm Sunday 19th January 2014 in News
Don’t be fooled by the date – a party of walkers is extremely serious about a fundraising trek planned for later this year.
On Tuesday, April 1, the group will set off on a two to three-day hike to help a hospital liver unit and a popular cricket club.
And organisers say the “April Old Fools’ Day” walk is one with a difference as most of those signed up are 60 and over.
The friends want to help St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, where fundraiser Mark Robinson had major surgery.
Mr Robinson, who used to work in the Telegraph & Argus’s advertising department, is the youngest taking part at 49.
Ten years ago he had a liver and kidney transplant to address problems caused by hyperoxaluria, a condition where an enzyme deficiency in the liver leads to kidney damage.
His brother also had the condition, which led to his death at 21.
“If you have a transplant of the two organs together, then one will protect the other,” Mr Robinson said.
He said as a transplantee there was always the worry that the body could reject the organ at any time, leading to further surgery.
He said: “As you get to the tenth anniversary you think, ‘Thank God I’m alive.’ Then you think about other people who might be missing their dad or someone who hasn’t been so lucky.”
The walk is the brainwave of Bradford car salesman Kevin Mitchell, 60, a member of Cleckheaton Cricket Club.
“We spend a lot of time raising money for the club,” he said.
“But the April 1 walk is also for the hospital’s liver unit where my friend Mark had his op.”
The walk will be from York to Whitby and a route is currently being worked out. Until that is fixed, the group won’t know how many miles they face but Mr Mitchell thinks the trek will be around 40 miles spread over a few days. “It will depend how the knees hold up,” he said.
“We set off on April 1 and although that might be seen as a bit of fun, we are really serious about raising money for both causes.”
Others tackling the walk include the Cleckheaton club’s cricket section chairman Dave Worrall, 62, and groundsman Keith Johnstone, 70. “Anyone can join us, but what we really need is lots of sponsors,” Mr Mitchell said.
Anyone wanting to take part or sponsor the team should contact Mr Mitchell on 078961 53731.