A Forth man has paid a highly practical tribute to his late wife by completing a five-day trek along the Great Wall of China.
In June last year Stephen Pennells, 62, lost his wife Carol to cancer, a colossal blow only softened by the care he saw her receive from the nurses and staff at the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh.
He decided to say thanks for Carol’s treatment in the best possible way, by raising money for the cancer charity which did so much to make Carol’s final days comfortable. He joined a Marie Curie-organised sponsored walking party to China and he and the rest of the team have returned triumphant after raising almost £70,000.
Stephen said: “After Carol died, signing up to the trek gave me something to focus on. I knew I wanted to fundraise and support Marie Curie after everything they did for Carol, myself and the rest of the family.
“We started with a moderate climb up the Crouching Tiger mountain where we came across our first part of the old wall which was in desperate need of renovation.
“On the second day we climbed up to the Hidden Dragon section of the wall which was incredible. However, for me, the best day was the third day when we walked 17kms along a restored part of the Jinshanling Great Wall.
“There was a lot of gruelling climbing needed to get up and down the steps in-between the 27 watch towers that line the wall, but after reaching the Beijing watch tower, we saw the most beautiful landscapes and the climb had been absolutely worth it.
“When Carol was staying at the Marie Curie Hospice, the staff treated her with such dignity and respect.
“Since then, Marie Curie has helped me come to terms with losing her,” he added.
Marie Curie’s Clydesdale Fundraising Group are hosting a quiz night, auction and raffle on November 8 at Lanark Golf Club from 7pm (£5 per person).
Contact Georgia Ramplin, Community Fundraiser, on 07730 619 485 for further details.