Thursday, 23 September 2021

Mums Army’s third charity walk in memory of friend

A TEAM of mothers from Kidmore End Primary school raised more than £2,500 for charity by

A TEAM of mothers from Kidmore End Primary school raised more than £2,500 for charity by completing a charity walk.

It was the third consecutive year that the women had completed the 26-mile Walk With Me challenge at Moulsford School.

They were raising money for Action Against Cancer in memory of Susie Ramos-Galvez, a friend who died in September.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and took part in the walk with her friends in 2014 and supported them last year.

Members of the team, called Kidmore End Mums Army, all have children at the school and this year were joined by some mothers from Sonning Common Primary School.

Gemma Malaperiman, from Kidmore End, who has taken part every year, said: “The first year Susie did 15 miles and she came to see us last year because she was having quite heavy treatment. She loved walking and if she could have done it she would have. This year we did it in her memory.” Mrs Malaperiman said Action Against Cancer worked with Professor Justin Stebbing, who was Mrs Ramos-Galvez’s consultant and leads the team at Imperial College in London. They were both featured in a BBC programme about Harley Street doctors that was shown last year.

Mrs Malaperiman said: “Prof Stebbing was keen to raise the profile of the charity and wanted to know if we could help.

“When we first did it it was something to support Susie but then we thought there is no point doing it if you’re not going to raise money.

“It’s amazing how much support we’ve had. Friends, family and contacts have been very supportive and have helped us raise as much as we could. Last year we raised a lot because we did a walk at the school and the kids were sponsored to walk three miles. That raised £2,500 towards the total. This year one of the mums works for Vodafone and the company gave about £350. It all adds up.”

She was joined on this year’s walk by Catherine Haines, Louise Lee, Ann Day, Clare Davies, Sian Allen, Lisa Baillie, Antonia Edwards, Kirsty Johnson, Sara Peto, Louise Wood, Caroline Jones, Sue Davenport and Kirstin Honor.

Mrs Malaperiman, who is a parent-governor at the school, said: “It’s a 26-mile walk, which starts and finishes at the school and goes along the river in parts. The route is hilly and it’s a real challenge. It’s gruelling.

“We don’t do it all as a team, we split into groups. The group I did it with finished in between six-and-a-half hours and seven hours. Some groups take longer but I like to do it and get back to the beginning as quickly as possible.”

She trained for the challenge throughout the year.

“You do 10 to 12 miles a week and in the run-up to the walk itself you’re doing three of those and as many small walks as you can,” said Mrs  Malaperiman. “We started training properly at Christmas and it’s nice in the spring when you walk in the bluebells.

“We mainly do the training walks in Kidmore End, Stoke Row and Checkendon, places like that. It’s amazing what you find that you had no idea existed.”

Since Walk With Me started raising money for Action Against Cancer it has collected more than £255,000.

Mrs Malaperiman said she wasn’t planning to walk next year but thought a group of mothers from the school would do.

“Three or four of us have done all three years and we’re ready for a new challenge,” she said.

“All the mums who took part are in contact. We all train together or go out together and do social things together. This year more mums from foundation classes wanted to be involved so they may carry it on.”

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