MILES & SMILES

Walkers complete the Blisters 4 Bex walk from Liverpool to Blackpool.
Walkers complete the Blisters 4 Bex walk from Liverpool to Blackpool.
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IT was probably the most painful half a mile she has ever walked.

But for Bex Joyce, it was the most meaningful.

The 29-year-old was determined to join her friends and family for the last bit of a 50-mile sponsored charity walk they were doing from Liverpool to Blackpool Tower.

The film-maker, from Coop Street, Blackpool has been battling cancer for the last two years, which has now caused lymphodema in her pelvis.

It was the second time the team – dubbed ‘Blisters 4 Bex’ – had trekked over a weekend to raise funds.

Last year they raised around £5,000 – half of which went to Cancer Research UK and the other half Bex was able to use to buy an oxygen machine.

This time, they were splitting the money between Bex and the Christie Hospital complementary therapy team in Manchester.

Bex, who has undergone gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy which have not been successful, said she was delighted with the walk.

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to walk very far, because of the lymphodema. But I really wanted to walk some of it. It was agony in my hip, but I kept thinking how much pain everyone else must be in.

“They all had blisters, some of them really bad. There were lost toenails, horse-fly bites, people with bad backs – they must have all been exhausted. But they were in such good spirits.

“It meant so much to me to be able to walk that last half-a-mile with them.

“I was so impressed with my grandma, who is 98 and walked part of the way too, and my mum, who is 66. So far, it’s raised £1,695, but there is still lots of sponsorship money to come in.

“It was very emotional, but a wonderful day. We had a lovely party afterwards. People were so generous, they collected around £500 on the day just in buckets.

“I felt so touched with the efforts everybody made. The jubilation at the finish line, it was so humbling.”

Bex – whose condition was diagnosed after the discovery of a lump in her armpit two years ago – is now turning to alternative therapies.

She said: “After the last lot of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I was told it wasn’t working. I was offered more treatment, but decided to look to alternative therapies.

“They are not proven, but I got fed up of living in hospital, having horrible side-effects, my immune system being exhausted and feeling depressed.

“I thought ‘this isn’t me.’ I’m going to get rid of all the toxins from my body, try to kick-start my immune system and take it from there.

“To me, the charity walk was almost like a metaphor for my illness – taking it one step at a time and although it’s painful, I am determined to keep going. I try to stay grateful for what I do have.”

Log onto www.justgiving.com/ blisters4bex or search Blisters for Bex on the Twitter or YouTube websites.