Doncaster man to take on gruelling coast to coast charity walk in memory of young son

A Doncaster man is set to take on a gruelling 200 mile charity walk in memory of his young son who died from cancer shortly before his third birthday.

By Darren Burke
Friday, 6th August 2021, 10:28 am
Paul Weir is taking on the challenge in memory of his son next month. (Photo:: Marie Caley)
Paul Weir is taking on the challenge in memory of his son next month. (Photo:: Marie Caley)

Paul Weir will take on the nine day trek from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in September in honour of his son Harry who died in April 2005 two weeks before his third birthday after being diagnosed with cancer.

The Balby man had hoped to take on the coast to coast walk last year ahead of his 50th birthday – but was forced to cancel the charity expedition because of the coronavirus lockdown.

But he has resurrected the challenge for September – and will be walking to raise funds for PACT Sheffield, a charity that supports parents of children with leukaemia and cancer.

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He said: “I can’t wait to get going now and get started. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully raising a couple of thousands of pounds along the way.”

Mr Weir, a keen dog walker and outdoors enthusiast, will take on the famed Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk which takes ramblers on a 195-mile route from the west coast of England to the east via some of the country’s most stunning countryside.

He will set off on the nine-day challenge on September 4 and is bidding to complete it in nine days, by walking in excess of 20 miles each day.

The solo effort will see him camping along the route – with support from partner Cheryl at home. “She’s very supportive and knows how determined I am,” he added.

And the walk is a tribute to his son Harry who bravely battled cancer before losing his fight at the age of two.

He said: “He was diagnosed two weeks before his first birthday with a kidney tumour, which after a short course of chemotherapy, was removed along with his kidney.

“We then had a further longer course of chemotherapy sessions all at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

“Sadly, Harry was later diagnosed with multiple brain tumours and tumours along his spinal column.

“We were then told that there was nothing more they could do, but we agreed for him to undergo brain surgery to remove the largest tumour from the frontal lobe, which I still believe, gave him a better quality of life for the remaining four months of his life.

“But on April 3 2005, I lost my son, Harry, to his battle with cancer.”

He said: "I’ve been training, doing plenty of stuff on my feet while I’m at work during the day and then doing plenty of walking when I get home at night too.”

He has completed a number of other gruelling treks in the past including the Lyke Wake Walk, a 40 mile route across the North Yorkshire Moors which has to be completed in a set time.

He added: “It is a charity very close to my heart and I want to do my bit to help.”

You can donate to Paul’s fundraising campaign HERE