TAKING part in this year’s Illumathon will be a big challenge for Bex Joyce.
The 29-year-old, from Blackpool, has been battling lymphoma for the last two years and the illness has now spread to her pelvis.
For Bex, even taking a few steps can be incredibly painful, but she is determined to walk at least some of the way of the women’s midnight walk, which raises money for the Bispham-based hospice.
Bex’s involvement with Trinity began when she asked her GP around the time of her diagnosis what other treatments were available to her, alongside the expected radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
The services of Trinity were suggested to her and she has undergone reflexology treatment at the hospice every two to three weeks with Donna Clark, the complementary therapist.
Bex’s condition resulted in lymphoedema in one of her legs and arms, and she also now attends the Lymphoedema Clinic at Trinity, where she is looked after by Joanne Hill, to help alleviate this.
Bex wants to take part in the sponsored walk – which has five or 10-mile routes – to put something back and help raise the profile of the hospice.
If she is unable to walk because of her condition on September 3, she is determined to help out as a volunteer.
She has already been getting into the Illumathon party spirit by donning her tangerine T-shirt and feather boa.
She said: “I really want to take part in this year’s Illumathon and plan to walk the shorter five-mile route – but this is as long as Donna and Joanne give me permission to.
“If I can’t walk, then you will find me helping out at the start and finish of the walk in Sainsbury’s car park cheering all the ladies taking part.”
Bev Whittaker, fundraising administrator, said: “The fundraising team here at Trinity have got to know Bex quite well over the last 12 months and she really is an inspiration.
“She has been through some tough times and is still undergoing treatment but this doesn’t stop her wanting to help raise funds and awareness about Trinity Hospice. She will be there on the night willing everyone along and joining in the party atmosphere.
“There are still places available, so please enter as soon as you can to make sure you can take part in this fantastic night out.”
The illumathon – which is open to women of all ages – will start and finish at Sainsbury’s in Bispham, and see participants walk through the famous Blackpool illuminations, supported by volunteer marshals and spectators.
Registration is £15 per person with online booking available at www.trinityhospice.co.uk or by calling (01253) 359362.
All entrants receive a T-shirt and bag for personal belongings on the night, a commemorative medal and goodie bag, together with a well-deserved bite to eat at the end of the walk. All proceeds go directly to supporting Trinity Hospice and Brian House Children’s Hospice.