Rob Coan and his sons are currently preparing for their fourth Walk In Her Name event since he lost his wife Aleasha in January 2015 at the age of 36. He explains why the walk is so important to him and his family...
"March itself is a significant month for us as it is Aleasha's birthday month and of course falls close to Mothers Day. Holding the walk each year is now a key date in our calendar. It allows us to achieve something positive during a period that always hurts more than most and focus on something different to not being able to share her birthday with her, or treat her on Mothers Day.
It also gives the whole family and friends the chance to come together and both remember and pay tribute to Aleasha's memory. She helped and gave so much to others right up to her final days, and touched the hearts of so many. The fact that it's a walk is perfect too. It means that there is no pressure to run and anyone can get involved and feel part of the day. Our walk is always along the Wivenhoe trail in Colchester. It is mainly flat and a place of natural beauty as it runs along the edge of the River Colne between Colchester and Wivenhoe.
It is also a walk that Aleasha loved. It is only around two miles long so a journey there and back is achievable for most. Last year our oldest walker was 76 and our youngest five, spanning three generations of our family. For those that want to have a break halfway there is always tea and coffee available from our own "meals on wheels" supporter, Caroline, who maximises the challenges that she faces by stocking up with provisions on her mobility scooter! The kind of courage, positive thinking and thoughtfulness that Aleasha would've very much appreciated.
"Last year our oldest walker was 76 and our youngest was five"Rob Coan
Once they have finished, the weary walkers are greeted by a hot cup of tea and a warm smile by my lovely Mum Margaret and her equally lovely sister Barbara. There will also be a cake sale and the much-anticipated results of the ‘guess the number of steps’ competition.
This year’s walk is of special significance as it would have been Aleasha's 40th Birthday on 28th March. As a family we had so many plans to celebrate this birthday, but will now throw that enthusiasm into raising as much money for her chosen charity as possible. Both Oliver and Toby have the bit between their teeth for this year and our hope is that we can take the Tribute Total over the £30,000 mark by the end of the year. It’s a tough ask, but with the courage the boys have shown over the last three years, and friends and family going all-out to support us by doing their own events, we hope we’ll get there.
It all starts with the walk. We will be publicising the event by holding a stall outside the Tesco Store at the Hythe, Colchester on 24th February, and hope that this will kick start the year’s fundraising. After the walk we will continue marching through 2018 with our friends and family supporting us as we raise money in memory of a unique and amazing woman and for this great charity.
Would you like to organise a Walk In Her Name in honour of a loved one affected by ovarian cancer? Register today for your free fundraising pack.