As many of you know I will be walking the Camino de Santiago from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago in Spain starting on September 13th. It is about 500 miles long, will take me about 6 weeks and involve taking a million steps!  I saw the film The Way last year and thought that would be a good walk to do and now I have the opportunity and motivation. In the great scheme of things, I am very lucky, I am healthy and have a loving and supportive family and group of friends.

As for the why, there are a number of reasons.

  • I wanted to do something worthwhile in memory of five loved ones I think about every day, are forever part of me and I miss so very much.

Sue - my partner and soul mate for 15 years who died last August of lung cancer.

Emily - my beautiful daughter who collapsed and died in October 2014, brought on by her Auto Immune Hepatitis.

Ben - who was delivered 26 weeks premature at the time of Emil’s collapse, but suffered a brain haemorrhage. His life support system was withdrawn by his father on the same day that Emily died.

Eve - my innocent and perfect Granddaughter who was still born in April 2006, and never went on to smile and make us laugh.

Jan - my darling wife for 30 years who died of breast cancer in 2000, after first being diagnosed in 1987.

  • I need to take time out to deal with all the cruel and sad things that have happened to me, try to grieve, make sense of it all and rebuild my life again.
  • I need to surround myself with strangers, put my trust in others and heal myself.
  • I need a challenge that will be demanding physically, emotionally and mentally and help me celebrate beating prostate cancer.
  • Finally, I wanted to raise some money for Longfield, our local charity, who were fantastic at providing hospice at home care for Sue in the last few days of her life and supporting me in the last year. It is fitting that Sue and I first met at Longfield bereavement sessions in 2001. Also Sue was a volunteer at Longfield for 12 years and made many friends.

Longfield is a very special organisation, providing hospice at home, helping patients with life limiting illnesses and offering counselling support for carers and families. Please give generously using the Just Giving page and support an amazing, cheerful team who provide hope, care and support to so many lost, suffering and frightened people.

Thank you so much.

Brian x

Brian has been speaking to BBC Radio Gloucestershire about his challenge. His interview begins at 16.55. Brian has also been featured in Stroud News and Journal; the article can be found here.