‘100-mile walk was shattering but so worth it’

MADE IT Jennifer Pope set off from Gosport and walked to Bournemouth, inset, and back for charity
MADE IT Jennifer Pope set off from Gosport and walked to Bournemouth, inset, and back for charity
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WHEN Jennifer Pope lost her husband to cancer she decided to do something to thank the staff at the hospice who cared for him.

So the 69-year-old walked 50 miles to Bournemouth and back again from her home in Gosport.

MADE IT Jennifer Pope set off from Gosport and walked to Bournemouth and back for charity

MADE IT Jennifer Pope set off from Gosport and walked to Bournemouth and back for charity

It was a place that Jennifer and her late husband Ken used to frequent when they first got together.

Ken lost his battle with cancer in September 2009, aged 83.

He was diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma in October 2008 – a form of cancer which often affects the kidneys and the bladder.

He had received treatment at the Countess Mountbatten Hospice and Jennifer, from Lichfield Drive in Gosport, has now raised more than £1,300 for the charity.

‘It was tremendous,’ she said.

‘I loved every minute of it. I was talking to people all the time. When I got to Bournemouth I was absolutely shattered.’

It took Jennifer nine days to complete the trek, walking between six and nine hours every day.

Her family and friends rallied round to support her, finding places for her to stay each night and sometimes even driving her home and back to her starting point again the following day.

‘I just about fell through the door I was so tired when I got home,’ she added.

‘But what a sense of achievement.

‘I felt as though I had really achieved something. I was so proud of myself.

‘Ken would have said I was absolutely crazy but he would have been proud of me.

‘I never expected to get that amount of money. It’s very difficult to know where to go to ask for sponsors.’

Jennifer was full of praise for staff at the hospice.

‘I think they are incredible,’ she said.

‘They’re amazing. They deserve any money that can be raised.

‘Ken was ever such a fit man. He had a very good healthy life. We had 30 very happy years together.

‘He was a very kind bloke, particularly for his family. He was a real family man. He wouldn’t have wanted me to do this but having done it he would be very proud.

‘He was proud of whatever I did.’