Dad to walk Hadrian’s Wall to give back to children’s hospital that saved his sick son’s life

Lucie Jakeman is hosting an eight mile trek in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Lucie Jakeman is hosting an eight mile trek in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

A dad will lead a team of six on a five day trek along historic Hadrian’s Wall to give back to the hospital that saved his son’s life.

The challenge will also mark the 50th birthday of dad Victor Sacks while raising £10,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Chris and Jackie Townson are walking Hadrian's Wall for Great Ormond Street Hospital. PNL-150225-123656001

Chris and Jackie Townson are walking Hadrian's Wall for Great Ormond Street Hospital. PNL-150225-123656001

His son Noah, now three, had open heart surgery at the specialist children’s hospital when he was just a baby.

Victor will be joined on the challenge by husband and wife duo Chris and Jackie Townson, who live in Willington and run childcare firm Toybox in Great Denham.

Chris came up with the charity fundraiser to mark Victor’s milestone birthday. “He said I can’t run, I can’t kick a ball and I said well you can walk can’t you,” said Chris.

“We set ourselves a target of £10,000 and today we are sitting at just about £8,000 and that is without gift aid. If you put gift aid in then we are just at the target.”

Dad Victor Sacks with Noah who had open heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Dad Victor Sacks with Noah who had open heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

They are due to set off for the challenge on Sunday and, all going well, will complete the feat on Victor’s birthday - Friday, March 6.

Chris said: “We have done lot so walking, we have done gym work and we are as ready as we can be.

“I’m looking at it as an adventure. Of course it is a bit daunting because it is the unknown. We hope to enjoy the scenery and hopefully raise a good lot of money.

“We are confident we can do it and we are confident we will enjoy it.”

To sponsor the team visit www.justgiving.com/victor-sacks

Also doing her bit for charity is cardiac nurse Lucie Jakeman, who is inviting people to join her on an eight mile walk.

The 24 year old, who works at specialist heart and lung hospital Papworth, is raising funds for the British Heart Foundation.

She said: “It’s a challenge for me just to see how many people I can get involved in it, how much money I can raise and obviously I believe strongly in the cause.”

Anyone can take part in the trek, expected to take three-and-a-half hours, on Saturday, March 21. It will start from the main entrance at Bedford Priory Marina and will follow a route to the Danish Camp before returning back to the start.

The event kicks off at midday and participants are being asked to wear something red and make a donation to the good cause.

Lucie, of Renhold, who hopes to raise £300, said: “The more the merrier.”

To donate and find out more visit www.justgiving.com/lucie-jakeman