‘Golden Girls’ to travel Great Wall in cancer charity drive

Sheila Ellis, with son Callum. ANL-150319-100448001
Sheila Ellis, with son Callum. ANL-150319-100448001

A group of ‘Golden Girls’ whose lives have been affected by cancer are to trek 60km across the Great Wall of China in a bid to raise thousands of pounds.

Jane Goodship, Josanne McDonnell, Trudy Hawes and Rebecca Hazel, all Barclays employees at the Diss and Bury St Edmunds branches, will be joined by colleague Sophia Lowndes-Toole, of Cotton, and Diss resident Callum Ellis.

They will fly to Asia on September 12, with the aim of completing the walk across the historic landmark in seven days. Funds raised will be matched by Barclays for Challenge Cancer UK.

Mr Ellis will be take part in place of his mum, Sheila, 54, also of Diss, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of last year following a routine scan. The news came just a few months after her husband, Ray, had been told the prostate cancer he had been living with for seven years had spread to his bones.

Having undergone chemotherapy and this week starting radiotherapy, Mrs Ellis’s prognosis is good, but said her and her husband’s news was a “double whammy” for the family.

“For Callum that has been really hard,” she said. “He has had so much support from friends. He plays for Scole United Football Club and they have been absolutely fantastic. I am really proud of him, he is a lovely lad.”

She added he was very much looking forward to the challenge, and praised the support of his half-brother Peter to the family

Mrs Hawes, 52, of Palgrave, lost her father, Max Bloomfield, just before Christmas in 2009. She described his death as “life changing”.

“I wanted to do something to raise money and I have been doing various events but I wanted to do something bigger,” she said.

n To sponsor visit https://give.everydayhero.com/uk/golden-girls and https://greatwall-2015.everydayhero.com/uk/callum

n Their next fundraising event is a Charity Pig Race night, on Saturday, March 28, at Debenham Community Centre. Doors open 7.30pm for an 8pm start, tickets £8, from 07833 743362