A COUPLE from Exeter will be trekking 100 miles of the Jurassic Coast to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, after both losing parents to brain tumours.
Actors Josie Kemp and Lauren Soley met while performing in ‘Les Misérables’ in London’s West End, but they have both moved back to Josie’s home city of Exeter after her mum, Pippa Stone, died suddenly last April.
Out of the blue, Pippa suffered a seizure, which they later learned had been caused by an aggressive brain tumour, and she died just 18 days later.
Her death came as a devastating shock to all who knew her. Pippa had just turned 60, had retired a week before her diagnosis and had planned to travel the world with husband Andrew Kemp.
When Pippa was told she had weeks to live, her response was “it is what it is”, and and Josie said this strength has carried her family through the months since and inspired them to live with the same courage that she radiated.
Josie wanted to do something positive in her mum’s memory, so she and partner Lauren are now preparing for a 100-mile trek along the Jurassic Coast this March to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
Lauren also lost her father to a brain tumour and together they are determined to try to make a difference.
They said: “To be able to raise vital funds for research and to support this incredible charity, which has been struggling through the pandemic, would be truly heartening to us both.”
Josie and Lauren will be setting off from Exmouth, Devon, on March 13 and are planning to finish their 100-mile trek in Swanage, Dorset, on March 19, passing through Lyme Regis on the way. This means they will be covering up to 20 miles a day come rain or shine.
They commented: “We have organised this sponsored trek on our own; just us, our backpacks and several packed lunches. It is guaranteed to be a shock in comparison to the 100 daily steps we are currently taking during lockdown – from the sofa to the fridge, and back again – but we’re determined to succeed.
“We want to stomp 100 miles, whatever the weather, each step sparing a thought for those who have been affected by this awful illness.”
Speaking on their chosen charity, they added: “We understand how tough a time this is to encourage charitable donations, but Cancer Research UK has experienced a huge drop in funding during this time and their work has been slowed by the impact of COVID-19.
“It would mean so much to us to be able to contribute to what this great organisation does. Any donation, big or small, will help. Please spread the word to help us go above and beyond our fundraising target!
“Let’s raise as much as we possibly can and fight back against cancer. Make the blisters worth it! Your support would mean the world.”
Josie and Lauren were hoping to raise £1,000 for Cancer Research Uk but have already surpassed this target. You can make a donation via the JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jurassic-coast-challenge-fundraiser