Friends walk length of wall in aid of Joseph’s Appeal

Matt Bee and Will Flint with Joseph Fawcett after completing their walk.

Matt Bee and Will Flint with Joseph Fawcett after completing their walk.

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A pair of friends have been putting their best foot forward in honour of a local youngster and his battle with childhood cancer.

Will Flint and Matt Bee walked the 84-mile Hadrian’s Wall path, from west to east, in five days.

To date, they have raised in the region of £1,500 for Joseph’s Appeal, which supports the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

Joseph Fawcett, son of Stannington couple Amy and Alex, was just eight months old when he was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour in July 2013.

After brain surgery could not remove all of the tumour, he then went through 11 rounds of high dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, with horrendous side effects that left his immune system completely wiped out and meant he was in intensive care, fighting for his life.

Against the odds, scans showed that the treatment had worked and that there was no longer any sign of the tumour.

And now, lively three-year–old Joseph, along with his friends and family, has been raising money to help other youngsters battling childhood cancer.

Will, who went to Lancaster University with Alex, said: “There were some really hard moments on the trail and they were mostly injury related – busted knees, torn ligaments, muscle strain and blisters.

“In isolation, the walking days are not extreme but added together, and with heavy packs, it’s hard to keep going.

“The biggest highlight was to finish the walk knowing that Joseph and his little brother William would be waiting for us to cheer us on at the end of the trail.

“We feel strongly about the need to further the fight against cancers.”

He added: “Joseph is an amazing little boy who endured 11 sessions of high dose chemotherapy, but through the brilliant support of doctors, friends and family, he got the right treatment.”

To make a donation to Will and Matt, go to www.justgiving.com/walkwithwillandmatt and for more information about Joseph’s Appeal, visit www.josephsappeal.co.uk