‘Lee would have been proud’ says mum

Rose and Rob Dunford from Sudbury who have completed a 94-mile charity walk in memory of their son Lee Dunford who died 10 years ago.
Picture Mark Westley ANL-160304-221434009
Rose and Rob Dunford from Sudbury who have completed a 94-mile charity walk in memory of their son Lee Dunford who died 10 years ago. Picture Mark Westley ANL-160304-221434009

A woman who completed an emotional 96-mile mile walk in memory of her son who died 10 years ago has said she is sure he would be proud.

Lee Dunford died in 2006 from blood cancer, with more than £70,000 raised for charity since his death.

Rob Dunford (left) and his wife Rosie (centre) cross the finishing line with their grandchildren after completing their 96-mile walk in memory of their son Lee who died 10 years ago. ANL-160504-104508001

Rob Dunford (left) and his wife Rosie (centre) cross the finishing line with their grandchildren after completing their 96-mile walk in memory of their son Lee who died 10 years ago. ANL-160504-104508001

Recently his parents, Rosie and Rob Dunford, walked 96-miles in five days in memory of their son, raising funds for Bloodwise and the Willow Foundation.

The Willow Foundation supported Lee and his family during his treatment, giving him a dream day at a recording studio.

“I think Lee would have been proud of us which is what it’s all about and raising the money for the charities,” she said.

“The nice thing was having Lee’s friends with us. We reminisced about Lee a lot and laughed a lot. It’s nice that people still remember Lee.”

Around 30 members of Lee’s friends and family took part in the walk at some stage.

The couple were supported along much of the route, after starting their tough physical and emotional journey by themselves.

At the end of the final day there was a celebratory meal.

Despite being proud of their achievements, and it being Mrs Dunford’s birthday, the day also marked 10 years since Lee’s passing, Mrs Dunford describing it as a bittersweet occasion.

The 55-year-old didn’t want a birthday cake but a friend instead made a congratulatory cake, with models of the couple lying exhausted on the top.

There was even an official finishing line, complete with ribbon, created for the couple at the end of the challenge.

Mrs Dunford was elated to have completed the challenge but glad it was over as her feet throbbed after suffering two ‘massive’ blisters.

“No more gym,” she said. “Though I might have the walking bug now, I might do some more walks but not for charity.”

The couple were sponsored by Sudbury’s Zest Gym which gave the pair free membership to get ready for the walk, while other sponsors Sudbury Tesco gave the couple goodies to munch on during their trip.

The 94-mile journey saw them take Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coastal Path from Sheringham to Cromer.

Unfortunately 94-miles quickly became 96 when a footpath closure forced them to take an exhausting two-mile detour on their first day, which was already a tough 21-miles long.

Mrs Dunford said that was very hard but said overall the days were fairly easy once they had the support of Lee’s friends to keep their spirits up.

She thanked everybody that had supported or sponsored them.

So far the couple have raised £3,000. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/R-Dunford.