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September 26 Update.

 

Hello!

I am thrilled to share with you a MASSIVE milestone. After an incredible journey spanning exactly 90 days and covering a staggering 1,470,573 steps, I have successfully completed the Via Francigena walk! This adventure has been nothing short of remarkable, and I am deeply touched by the support and encouragement I've received along the way.

 

The Via Francigena is an ancient pilgrimage route that stretches from Canterbury, England, to Rome, Italy. It has been a dream of mine to embark on this pilgrimage, and I am overjoyed to have made it a reality. The path was not always easy; it challenged me physically, mentally, and spiritually. Yet, every step brought me closer to my goal, and the experiences I've had along the way are truly priceless.

 

One of the most incredible aspects of this journey has been the overwhelming support from friends, family, and our wonderful online community. Your words of encouragement, well-wishes, and, most importantly, your generous donations have been a source of inspiration and motivation throughout the walk. Your belief in me and the cause I have been walking for have kept me going when the path felt the steepest.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who supported me in this endeavor. Your donations have not only helped me achieve my goal but have also contributed to a cause that is close to my heart. The impact we have made together is profound, and I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and generosity.

 

As I reflect on this incredible journey, I am reminded of the power of community and the ability we all have to make a difference. Whether it's through a pilgrimage like the Via Francigena or any other endeavor, together, we can achieve remarkable things. Let this achievement be a testament to the strength of our collective spirit.

 

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this incredible journey. Your support has made all the difference, and I am forever grateful.

 

With immense gratitude and a heart full of joy,

Mark

***

In April 2023, my father experienced what the doctors described as a "serious 8/10 stroke." It was an incredibly challenging time for our family, but thanks to a series of fortunate events, the impact of the stroke was significantly reduced to a "2/10".

A crucial factor in my father's recovery was a very rare and incredibly time sensitive surgical procedure called a thrombectomy, which saved his life and dramatically lessened the effects of the stroke. This life-saving operation was only made possible by recent advancements in medical technology, and we are incredibly grateful that we had access to this cutting-edge treatment.

Recognizing how fortunate we were, I consulted with the lead doctors involved in my father's operation to try and understand what had happened, and after our meeting it became clear to me that I wanted to give back.

Starting in June, I will be walking from Geneva to The Vatican on the historic Via Francigena on a journey that will take eight weeks.

1,300,000 steps – one for each UK stroke survivor.

I have chosen to fundraise for the UCLH Charity (with every penny raised going to them), which played a vital role in providing exceptional care and resources to my father during his recovery. Upon completing my journey, we will work together to determine how best to allocate these funds and support others in similar situations.

 

The most exciting part of this endeavor is that my father will be joining me for the last stretch of the walk. We are all filled with excitement and anticipation as we prepare for this incredible experience together. In preparation, he has been training diligently, returning to his beloved bowls club daily.

 

As I embark on this challenging yet rewarding adventure, I invite you to join me in supporting the UCLH Charity. Your contribution will not only help those in need but also serve as a testament to the incredible advancements in medical science that have the potential to change lives.

I encourage you to delve deeper into my website, explore the different sections, and discover more about the Via Francigena walk and fundraiser we're doing for the UCLH Charity. I am confident that you will be inspired by the spirit of adventure and compassion that drives me forward.

I will be sharing my daily experiences, stories, and photos through this site. It's my way of taking you along with me on this incredible journey. I want you to feel connected and be a part of something truly extraordinary.

To stay updated with my progress, I invite you to sign up for occasional emails below. By doing so, you'll receive regular updates, exclusive content, and important announcements directly in your inbox. It's the best way to stay connected and be part of our supportive community.

Happy exploring!

Mark

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Thank you, and Grazie!

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