Portsmouth driving instructors breast cancer charity walk set up to help colleague suffering from the disease

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The owner of a Portsmouth based driving instructor company has set up a charity walk in aid of a beloved colleague who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sarah Dix, 43, has worked for 1Drive, a company owned by Deucalion Mcgregor-Sims, for 18 months and in that time she has become and integral member of the team. As such, when Sara was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2023 it not only rocked her husband Drew, and their 3 children, but her work colleagues as well.

Her popularity is such that all 13 of Deucalion's team immediately wanted to do something to help. They eventually settled on a charity walk which will take place on Sunday March 31, travelling the land route from the Portsmouth side of the Gosport ferry to the Gosport side.

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Deucalion was not surprised by the response of his team in wanting to help Sarah. He said: "We are in an industry which is largely dominated by middle aged white men and Sarah has come into it and taken it by storm. She is natural, she just gets people, in every way. She lights up the room as soon as she walks in. We have had some of the most unbelievable feedback from people that she has taught and worked with.

"When she told me in December, it just felt so cruel. I know we say this a lot, but it always happens to the wrong person. I know all of my team, we felt compelled to do something and a charity walk across our coverage area seemed the best thing to do." For Deucalion, the news of Sarah's diagnosis brought about memories of a personal loss, which also spurred him into action. He said: "My twin sister died from cancer a few years ago, she was 27 years old. I met Sarah after my twin sister died and I just instantly knew that she would be a special person in my life and she filled some of the void that my twin sister left behind. When I found out Sarah had cancer as well, I just thought we have to do something."

Sarah (second from left) and Deucalion (centre) with their colleagues from 1Drive who will be completing a charity walk in March in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.Sarah (second from left) and Deucalion (centre) with their colleagues from 1Drive who will be completing a charity walk in March in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Sarah (second from left) and Deucalion (centre) with their colleagues from 1Drive who will be completing a charity walk in March in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. | Contributed

The walk will be in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity picked by Sarah, and anybody that wants to support the cause is welcome to join them on the trip that is just shy of 20 miles long. While one of the main aims is to raise money, it is also seen as a chance to raise awareness. Sarah discovered a lump on her breast in October 2023, having monitored it for a couple of weeks, she contacted her doctor and was referred to a specialists where the biopsy identified she had Triple Negative Breast Cancer Stage 2 Grade 3. It is a rare and aggressive type of cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes. She is currently undergoing a 24 week course of chemotherapy after which the next stage of surgery will be decided on.

Beyond raising money and awareness, there is another reason that Deucalion and his team have set up the walk. He said: "One of Sarah's wonderful traits is that it's always about other people, I don't think she likes the idea of being the centre of attention. I think she finds it uncomfortable. Our hope with the walk is that we highlight to Sarah just how special she is, she is one of the most spectacular people I have ever met. This is one small way for the community to come together and show her just how special she is. There is a great many people taking part in this walk and we encourage anyone else that wants to take part to do so."

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