Founder of Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care, Brian Burnie, left Newcastle on 5th March 2018 to walk the coast of Great Britain and Ireland to promote and expand the Gosforth based Charity nationwide.
The Isle of Skye has been extra-special for Brian; He married traveling partner Cheryl on the island 4 weeks ago and after 300 miles walking the coastline, the 74 year old has racked up 1,700 miles to date.
It’s not all been fun and sunshine; “Skye is a beautiful island but I’ve never experienced rain like this, it’s almost biblical. I’m walking 7,000 miles the old fashioned way with maps, but in poor conditions I will admit, I sometimes get lost. It’s easy to take a wrong turn when there is no footpath – that’s happened many times.”
However, his proposal to open Daft as a Brush ‘hubs’ offering free cancer patient transport has been a big hit in Scotland. Hospitals in Dundee, Aberdeen,
Edinburgh and Inverness have shown a genuine interest in the service “We’re looking forward to hospital delegates visiting Newcastle in October to fully understand how the charity operates. By mid-November, I will be near Glasgow where we will visit the Beatson Cancer Centre. It would be my dream to have two ‘Daft as a Brush’ hubs operational in east and west Scotland.”
Brian and Cheryl’s home for the two-year walk is Bluebell Bus; donated by Stagecoach and wrapped in the Daft as a Brush branding, Bluebell has all the essentials for life on the road. But a recent breakdown has been difficult for the couple; “Our brilliant driver Tommy Watson, came to move Bluebell Bus to Fort William, but she suddenly stopped on-route. Stagecoach came to our rescue but the issue wasn’t a simple road-side fix. She’s been taken to Inverness where their experts are working on her now.
It’s hard to explain, but we are very attached to Bluebell. She has been our home for six months, we’re both looking forward to her return.”
Will Bluebell’s breakdown slow Brian’s progress? “I must carry-on regardless! I have another 5,300 miles to go. I am currently walking past Ockle, situated on the northcoast of the Ardnamurchan peninsula in the Scottish Highlands, on route to Fort William. A local bed and breakfast are accommodating us, but hopefully Bluebell Bus will be back in business very soon.”
Brian’s wants to create 1,000,000 cancer patient journeys when his 7,000 walk is complete in 2020