Cancer survivor who is 'nothing but adventure' to tackle first trek in 11 years

Witcham woman Sarah Mappledoram ahead of Scotland trek

Sarah Mappledoram and husband Paul Roe (inset) will take on a 96-mile walking challenge over six days across Scotland for Macmillan Cancer Support and the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. - Credit: Sarah Mappledoram

A cancer survivor whose mother and friend died from the illness is taking on her first long-distance challenge in 11 years by walking nearly 100 miles across Scotland. 

Sarah Mappledoram of Witcham was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2006 and since then, has walked along the Great Wall of China and the Inca Trail in Peru in 2011. 

“I’ve not done a challenge like these in 11 years,” said Sarah. 

“The company we are doing this with she has links to, and when we had our get-together last year, this came up and said ‘we have not done a walk lately, so let’s go for it’.” 

Sarah Mappledoram of Witcham

Sarah Mappledoram was diagnosed with bowel cancer but since beating it, she has taken on two other walking challenges in China and Peru. - Credit: Sarah Mappledoram

Sarah will take on the West Highland Way route from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William with husband Paul and a group of friends who also walked in China and Peru. 

Similar to the previous challenges, Sarah will raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity (ARHC), where she worked with close friend Sheila who recently died of cancer. 

“My mum died of cancer and had ARHC support her,” Sarah said. 

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“Sheila always had a smile on her face, messing around, being a joker. 

“We were very close and people said we are like an old married couple and have known each other for around 30 years.” 

Both Sarah, a retired Macmillan nurse, and Paul have been training for the trek since last autumn including trips to the Lake District and Yorkshire. 

Witcham woman Sarah Mappledoram with husband Paul

Sarah Mappledoram with husband Paul, who before the West Highland Way trek, had not taken on a walking challenge like it. - Credit: Sarah Mappledoram

They aim to conquer 96 miles over six days starting from May 5, in what will also be Paul’s first challenge of this kind. 

“This is all part of being with Sarah; nothing but adventure,” Paul said. 

“I spent time as an anaesthetist with people with cancer, and you start to realise you want to make the most of every day.” 

Sarah has had to deal with nerve damage from chemotherapy in training for the walk, but she believes she will find a way through the pain barrier. 

“I think it will be more of a personal achievement,” she added. 

“If Sheila was here, she would be one of the first people to hug and say ‘well done’.” 

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