A father from Telford has been undertaking an incredible 400km walk to raise money for Macmillan after losing two of his sons to cancer.

Mal Chadwick, 75, from Horsehay, hopes to raise £5,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support after his eldest son, Matthew, passed away in 2013 and his youngest son, James, died in 2018. Both were just 42 years old.

Matthew lived with a brain tumour for 19 years after undergoing surgery and chemotherapy at Birmingham UHT Hospital. He got married, enjoyed travelling and trained to be a teacher. James was initially given the all-clear after having a melanoma removed in 2005, but was diagnosed with an aggressive metastasised melanoma in his stomach lining just a month after his baby son was born in 2017.

Matthew Chadwick

Mal was inspired to start a Go Fund Me campaign after discovering The Cross Britain Way – a route of existing paths created by Tim Brunton to help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

“We do a lot of walking normally, and I was looking on the Ordinance Survey and I noticed that it had a label called the Cross Britain Way. I did some research and found that it was designed to go across the country and raise money for Macmillan. I initially started walking it and as I did more I decided to raise money for a cause that is dear to our heart, with two of our sons being cared for by the charity. We got to know both our Macmillan nurses very well.”

James Chadwick

Starting in Lincolnshire at Boston, the route travels from through the Vale of Belvoir, the Leicestershire Wolds, the National Forest, the canals of South Staffordshire, East Shropshire along the Iron Bridge Gorge, through the Shropshire hills, the rolling hills of mid-Wales and over the Berwyn mountains. The final stretch is south-west through Snowdonia National Park to Barmouth.

Completing the route in sections and accompanied by family, friends and his faithful walking companion – Alfie – Mal is currently nearly 300km into the route and plans to finish in April, almost a year after his campaign began.

Alfie joins Mal on most of his walks

Mal, along with his wife, Jenni and their son, Luke have received an incredible amount of support from family and friends. Speaking about her ‘awe inspiring’ sons, Jenni said: “It is two years next Wednesday since James died, so this time of year is quite emotional. We kept both of them at home and the support that we received from Macmillan were amazing.”

Mal has currently reached £2,100 of his £5,000 goal. To donate to Mal’s Go Fund Me Page, visit here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/mal039s-campaign-for-macmillan-cancer-support

To find out more about The Cross Britain Way, visit here: https://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_name=Macmillan+Way+-+Cross+Britain+Way

All photo credits: Mal and Jenni Chadwick