DORRIDGE resident Andy Foote has completed the world-renowned 500-mile Camino de Santiago walk across northern Spain, raising over £20,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity.
Andy’s son Joseph was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of two. Despite multiple operations and a worldwide search for effective treatment, he died in 2007 at the age of nine.
Andy set up The Joseph Foote Trust in 2001, shortly after his son was diagnosed.
He was determined to raise money for research into brain tumours as a way of helping Joseph and others affected by the disease.
In 2014 The Joseph Foote Trust merged with Brain Tumour UK to create The Brain Tumour Charity, of which Andy is a trustee.
Andy and a group of five friends which included Tim Burchell, Mark Roberts and Steve Verrall, also raising money for The Brain Tumour Charity, started their Spanish challenge in St Jean Pied de Port on April 30, making their way across the Pyrenees and the Pecos Mountains before finishing in Santiago de Compostela at the weekend.
The group’s current fundraising total is £52,000.
Andy said: “’Camino de Santiago’ is a real challenge, both mentally and physically. Five weeks and five hundred miles to walk.
“We were driven on by our determination to improve the outcomes for a brain tumour diagnosis and the thought of the little ones we have seen struggling through gruelling chemotherapy treatments and debilitating surgery.
“Both the relief and joy at crossing the finishing line was matched the level of endeavour we had endured. It constantly reminded me of the treatment challenges Joseph had to go through.
“Thank you to all who supported us. We feel privileged and grateful.”
Celebrating at the finish line at Santiago de Compostela.
Sarah Lindsell, The Brain Tumour Charity’s CEO added: “Ever since Joseph’s diagnosis, Andy has been determined to change things for children and families affected by a brain tumour.
“His achievement in walking the Camino de Santiago and raising such an incredible amount for The Brain Tumour Charity will help achieve the vision we share with Andy of a world where brain tumours are defeated.
“Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and people under 40 in the UK and survival rates have not improved significantly over the last 40 years. “We need to change that.”
To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-foote2