Family trek across the Sahara desert to raise thousands for the Arthur Rank Hospice
PUBLISHED: 11:37 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:37 02 May 2018
A team of trekkers have raised more than £64,000 for the Arthur Rank Hospice by walking 70km across the Sahara desert.
The 18 adventurous hospice supporters trekked across the world’s hottest desert in temperatures reaching 40 degree celsius.
Each trekker had their own connection to the hospice and called themselves #TeamArthur.
A family of three brothers and one sister were amongst them.
Known as #TeamSpencer it consisted of siblings, Lloyd Spencer from Sutton, Jade Plant, of Chippenham, Grant Spencer, of Haddenham and Karl Spencer of Peterborough.
Their mum, Sandra Spencer, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2014.
They said Sandra “coped marvellously taking chemotherapy then radio therapy all in her stride” and “for two years there were ups and downs but eventually Mum got tired, she was exhausted by it all.
“The last infection she got was a rare and serious one. It set up camp in her liver and caused her so much pain and sickness that she decided in November 2016 that she’d like to be looked after at Arthur Rank Hospice.”
The family had a last Christmas with their mum before she died in January 2017.
The family said: “They sorted out her pain quickly and kept her comfortable without making her too groggy.
“We got to make so many more previous memories and because of that we’d like to give something back…”
Whilst their mum was being cared for on the inpatient unit at the hospice, the four heard about the Sahara Trek.
Their aim was to raise a combined total of £10,000 “to help many other families”.
Their family fund raising total has now reached an impressive £10,133.
The group became like a “little family” during the three day trek walking between 15 and 20 kilometres a day, then camping for one final night under “just spectacular” stars at Oulaid Driss, before returning to Marrakesh by bus.
The fourteen other members taking on the desert included Harriet Adams, Antony Bagott. Lily Barrett a volunteer within the hospice’s day therapy service, Karen Curdy a complementary therapist at the hospice, Serena Dama, Helen Forbes, Ros Mills, Jennifer Mullucks, Alison Pinney fundraising administrator at the hospice), Helen Rankin, Deanna and Ellie Raven, Phil Smith and Lynne West.
Ken Smith who had initially signed up, was unable to take part due to injury after falling on Mount Snowdon whilst training.
Second eldest brother Lloyd Spencer summed up his feelings towards the end of the challenge: “I’m getting to know my brothers and sister again: obviously we’re close anyway but you chat along the way, contemplate and think about why you’re here.
“I really enjoyed being able to spend time with them.”