25th May 2019 was the day of our second charity walk. Last year we raised over £1000 walking 11 and a half miles. This year we decided to climb Moel Famau, a small mountain in Wales. What made this walk so challenging was the fact that one year old Austin was going to be climbing too. Although we didn’t raise quite as much this year, the total still surpassed £550.
The charity that we are raising money for is Cancer Research UK. Our motivation for this charity comes from the sad passing of my Dad in 2017. You can read all about his story here. Since then, our family has been raising as much money as possible in the hope that other families won’t have to go through what we have.
Starting From The Bottom
Our assent had not even begun, and we had already attracted some attention. A family had seen our cancer research T-shirts as we got out of the car, and they made a donation! A heartwarming moment that we were incredibly grateful for. It was only a few quid, but the fact that complete strangers noticed our cause and donated some money really gave us extra motivation.
We had made it all of 100 yards when Austin decided that it was time to take a rest by sitting on the floor. It was going to be a long climb…
We were going to be making the journey following the purple trail, which takes an average of 2 and a half hours to get up and down. Clearly with a one year old in tow, it was going to take a lot longer.
Austin was quite happy to walk up the first part of the climb. It was fairly level and his little legs were full of walking. It didn’t take long though for the walk to take a steady incline. Austin was walking up three steps and then sliding back down another 4. It was time to strap him in and let him enjoy the climb from the safety of the backpack. If you want to know what it felt like with a one year old strapped to your back, imagine trying to climb a hill with a baby elephant strapped to you. My back was about to take a beating.
The climb up Mount Famau was an enjoyable one. There were some beautiful views towards the top. You could see for miles. Carrying Austin up on my back was extremely hard work, but I was determined to make it to the top. I just kept thinking about the reason that we were walking. I gave Austin a fatherly pep talk three quarters of the way up about keeping going when things get tough. All whilst he was probably picking his nose and wiping it on the back of my head.
With a pain in my back and lactic acid burning through my legs we finally made it to the top. The feeling of relief and achievement flooded through me as I collapsed to the floor in a heap. I’m unsure if Austin was concerned for his father or whether he just wanted to kick a man when he was down. He came over to me though and attempted to show some concern.
The views from the top were incredible. It was like standing on the top of a castle looking out. We made sure to get right to the very top to properly achieve our goal. Austin was of course eager to climb more steps after his leisurely rest on my back.
We were proud of ourselves for completing yet another challenging charity walk. My mum, like me, gave Austin an encouraging chat about what this moment had meant to us as a family. We had raised more money for Cancer Research, bringing our grand total past the £1,500 mark. We won’t be stopping there either.
The climb back down was a little less physically draining than the climb up. Having the end in sight helped a lot. Austin was very quick to pick up his stone phone to give his Mum a call to let her know he was on his way back.
Next year we plan to go even bigger and even more challenging. We won’t be resting until a cure for cancer is found and people we love will stop having to fight to stay alive. It will happen one day. Maybe not in my generation but hopefully in my children’s.
My Dad would have been proud of us all again, none more so than for his grandson Austin. He may not have known the significance of what he had just achieved, but when the time is right, he will know all about the money that he has raised. One day, he will look back on these memories and be proud of himself.