Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Coast to Coast in memory of a Special Friend and Son

Over three years ago I came face to face with a  big, gentle smile when I met Jon at a Brain Tumour Support Meeting. Jon aspired to travel to the most northerly, southerly, easterly and westerly points in the UK. He managed a trip towards the east but was too ill to travel any further.

In September last year my cousin Tim and a team of cyclists secured Jon's photo to the front of his bike and took him from Lands end to John O’Groats raising money for The Get Ahead and The Brain Tumour Charities.

This June Jon’s parents Jacky and Roy undertook a Thousand Mile Coast to Coast Commemorative Caravan Journey and Expedition - Remembering Jon two years on.
Jacky shares her memories of this momentous journey:

“Never before have I worn the same tee-shirt for so long!

We planned to take our Jon on a journey right across the country, carrying him in our hearts, and his photos on our windows, fulfilling an ambition that he was unable to realise. We told his story at every stop, and promoted the work of ‘The Brain Tumour Charity’ from Lowestoft, the Eastern most point of the UK, to St. David’s in West Wales.

Roy and I pulled on the ‘Brain Tumour Charity bright red tees as we approached each caravan site. We were ‘The Charity people’. If any doubt remained we soon put paid to that as we decorated our caravan with banners, balloons and bunting!

At the start we released 26 red balloons which were carried off by a brisk southerly wind at Ness Point. This marked the start of our adventure, the first emotional moment of many along our way.

People, seeing our posters, came to share their stories of loss; a grandchild, a mother, a son in law, a sister. People touched by love and loss. We felt humbled to be invited into their sorrow, and honoured to be able to tell of our precious boy.

The donations amazed us. Even during the evening people knocked on our caravan door with money; generous, warm people, yet total strangers, dipping deep in pockets to fill our collecting box.

But some people averted their eyes, looked to the ground, not wanting to get involved with ‘The Charity people’

We arrived at our final destination of St. David’s to a wonderful welcome. A collecting jar, and cut -out from the ‘Caravan Club’ magazine was already in place on the counter. We received a warm, sunny reception, despite our weariness after 1000 miles. We are proud to have achieved our objective-for Jon.

We were delighted to be able to send over £1200 to the Brain Tumour Charity, where we have set up a fund in Jon’s name”:

Or Text JONF85 £3 to 70070 (or other amount!)