GETTING active and raising money for an extremely worthy local cause is the aim of the fantastic Step Up To Cancer initiative.
The roots of the fundraising idea began with Anita Vince, who had breast cancer in 2014. As part of the healing process Anita organised a walk over the Tramuntana mountain range with friends.
Every year since the first walk in 2016 Anita and her crew have walked the GR221 at Easter to raise money for Cancer Support Mallorca. Over the years they have raised more than €15,000 for cancer charities in Mallorca.
This year six ladies are island hopping and from April 3 to 10 they will be walking the GR223, otherwise known as the Cami de Cavalls in Menorca, which skirts the islands’s coast and is a similar distance. As always they will be looking for sponsorship.
But one thing they’ve noticed over the years is that many would like to take part in these walks, but don’t have the time, stamina or are able to do so. Hence this year Anita has come up with Step Up To Cancer.
People can walk the GR221 distance throughout April, in their own time, at their own pace, with their friends, family or loved ones.
The organisers explain that the commitment to get involved means agreeing to walk a certain number of steps over the month, the total steps equalling the amount needed to walk the whole GR221.
On registration participants will be given a chart so they can mark their progress. Some may be able to do the whole amount, others may just be able just to do certain stages. Either way, the idea is for people to get more active and to raise funds for charity.
There will be a registration form on the www.cancersupportmallorca.com website. The cost to register is €25, and everyone will receive a pack including a T-shirt, string bag, sponsorship materials and progress chart.
The kick-off event will be on April 1, when registered participants who are able can collect their pack. There will be an initial walk of about an hour and 30 minutes starting and ending at the venue, which will be a big boost to the week’s steps. There will then be refreshments of offer at the starting point and the opportunity for participants to discuss their plans for the month ahead.
Registered participants will be able to share their progress over the month on a Facebook group, as well as discuss any problems in reaching their goal, arrange meet-ups and walks with other participants, and so on.
The initiative will wind up with a grand finale event to celebrate everyone’s achievement. All those taking part will be awarded with a certificate, plus there will be live entertainment, food and drinks, a raffle, prizes, and more.
Anyone not able to sign up to the walking can always sponsor others, donate directly on the Walk the Gr221 for Cancer Support Mallorca Facebook page or volunteer to help on either the kick-off or finale events.
Businesses can do their bit too by sponsoring the event, helping out on posters, T-shirts and general planning, or by providing branded material for participants’ packs.
All the money raised will go to Cancer Support Mallorca, a charity helping cancer patients in Mallorca and Menorca. They provide translators, counselling, nutritional advice and alternative therapies for free. They also have volunteers who help cancer patients with Spanish bureaucracy and provide free to cancer patients items such as wigs, bandannas, prosthesis. On top of all this, they give awareness raising talks in English and Spanish at schools, clubs, and the like.