MARGARET MARANDE, 81, FROM FONTMELL MAGNA IN DORSET TO WALK THE 220 MILE HARDY WAY – THE LONG DISTANCE PATH SHE CREATED 2O YEARS AGO – TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THREE GOOD CAUSES 2bc13088-a245-417b-b9c8-ba7672a8d688_1520012507961.jpg “Margaret spent a hideous and heartbreaking year watching her beloved partner finally succumb to the deadly advance of Pancreatic cancer. Now she is attempting this amazing challenge to raise funds for research crucially needed to combat this terrible disease. Every mile she walks will be hugely worthwhile if it can help achieve this objective.                                                                                      Best of luck, brave Margaret.” Jilly Cooper CBE 3edc698f-5482-4ac2-86b0-bd5ebb84b0e4_1520012555718.jpg.png Hardyway4Harry – The walk is a tribute to my partner Harry, who died of pancreatic cancer last year and I will split my fundraising between the medical research charity Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, the Westminster Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury and Thomas Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre.  Holy S**t  Lieutenant!  That was Harry’s reaction to the suggestion that a walk across England, the iconic Coast to Coast Path, would be a fun challenge. Together we left so many footprints across the world from the rugged West Highland Way in Scotland to the Queen Charlotte’s Track on the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. But now it’s only me. Cancer struck Harry three times over the years. Twice he fought it and gained twenty-five years. But the third attack was vicious.  Pancreatic.  Once again, brave, he looked to a future despite the odds.   But this time it was just too aggressive.  The survival statistics for pancreatic cancer are grim.  Diagnosed in December 2016, he died in August 2017 and it wasn’t quality time.  Money is needed for research to beat this most lethal cancer and I want to help.   This is my plan. In the 1990s I created a long-distance path – The Hardy Way – some 220 miles through Thomas Hardy’s Wessex.  The route visits places that Hardy describes in his novels and poems under fictitious names.  Starting at his birthplace near Dorchester it ends nearby in the tiny churchyard of St. Michael at Stinsford where his heart is buried.  En route are two stretches on the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, timeless Cranborne Chase, the Blackmore Vale and westwards as far as the sleepy Brit Valley to Bridport. My aim is to walk the whole Hardy Way on consecutive days leaving Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre on the morning of April 18th for as long as it takes. I am an 81 year-old woman with dodgy knees and feet susceptible to blisters.  Thirty years down the line it will be a huge challenge.  Holy S..t Lieutenant indeed! Please will you support me on this walk in my aim to raise AS MUCH AS I POSSIBLY CAN for my three good causes: Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund – not many survive this cancer to personally raise funds.  League of Friends of the Westminster Memorial Hospital  – recently survived threat of closure, and  gave Harry the most wonderful care when he was dying. Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre at Higher Bockhampton –  a gateway for local people and visitors to discover more about Thomas Hardy and the local landscape. Cheques to Dorset County Council, Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre, Higher Bockhampton,  DT2 8QH I will be in good company along the Way:  family, friends, nurses from the hospital, Hardy Way walkers plus anyone who would like to join in. For further information, please contact: or 01747 811284   Mob. 07888 937349 SaveSave SaveSave