46-mile sponsored trek to Rowans Hospice remembers mum who died from cancer

IT WAS a poignant moment when Jenna Wells and her family walked into the Rowans Hospices' Living Well Centre.

Tuesday, 5th June 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 2:32 pm
Jenna Wells, third from left, with Aidan Phillipson, Stephen Wells, Chris Powell, Lisa Clements and Catherine Brookfield Picture: Malcolm Wells (180604-2060)

The site in Purbrook marked the end of a gruelling 46-mile walk which started at midnight yesterday.

Jenna, her son Aiden Phillipson, boyfriend Chris Powell and best friends Cat Brookfield and Lisa Clements walked from Alton to the centre in memory of Jenna’s mum.

Susan Joyce Wells was treated by the Rowans Hospice after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This year marks 20 years since she died from the cancer, aged 46.

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The walk, which ended just before 4pm, covered important sites of Susan’s life.

Jenna, 37, said: ‘We started in Selbourne where my mum’s ashes are.

‘It was a place we used to go as a family and seemed liked a good place to start.

‘Then we walked to Petersfield before heading to University of Chichester where my mum got a degree in history and English literature as a mature student.

‘They were so welcoming and gave us breakfast and drinks which was lovely.

‘Even though no-one there knew my mum, they were still happy to greet us which I am really thankful for.’

After stopping in Chichester, the team of five trekked to Leigh Park where Susan was born and grew up. They then headed to St Francis Church where she got married before meeting the rest of their family at Woodcroft Primary School for the final four miles.

Jenna, from Petersfield, added: ‘The walk was hard. Some parts were harder than expected, while others were easier.

‘I was just determined to complete it because it was 46 miles which was how old my mum was when she died.

‘When I first came up with the idea, I wanted something we could all do together.

‘It was an amazing feeling when we reached the Living Well Centre. It was wonderful to have the whole family doing the final stretch and people here to meet us.’

So far, Jenna and her family have raised £2,500 through sponsors which will be split between the Rowans Hospice and Cancer Research UK.

Denise Fry, community fundraiser for the hospice, said: ‘We are really grateful for all of the support and well done to everyone for doing such a long walk in such a good time.

‘It is wonderful that 20 years after Jenna’s mum was at the hospice, the family are still remembering us and raising money.’