He’s battled through snow, rain, freezing and exhausting temperatures to walk thousands of miles throughout Great Britain and Ireland promoting free cancer patient transport.
Now, the end of Brian Burnie’s epic charity trek is in sight.
On 5th March 2018, 76 year old Mr Burnie left Newcastle Gateshead Quayside on a 7,000 mile walking challenge to bring free cancer patient transport nationwide.
Founder of the Newcastle based charity “Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care”, Brian is determined to take the free service all over the country;
“On my walk I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some incredible people, many with direct experience of cancer and the daily challenge of getting to and from hospital. This issue effects so many patients regardless of where they live. The feedback I’ve received from cancer centres all over the country, has been incredible.”
Supported by his wife Cheryl, they passed the 5,000 mile-mark in Devon when Covid-19 forced their retreat home. However, Brian didn’t give up; he has achieved the same distance back to Teesside from Torquay by walking locally. The couple will be walking the last 50 miles from James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough to the Baltic in Gateshead, where it all began, from Saturday 12th September 2020.
Each day, they’ll be walking around 5 to 6 miles with friends, supporters and well wishers on their way home. They’re asking everyone to join in and support the 7,000 mile charity walk for cancer patient transport.
Brian, who has Parkinson’s Disease, will return to Gateshead in late September “I am really excited to be at the final stage. The last two and a half years have been a real challenge but I am looking forward to completing the walk where it began in 2018.
Each day I will be walking towards the Baltic in Gateshead for Wednesday 23rd September 2020. If anyone can join me for a mile or two, I would be very grateful.”
But Brian won’t be putting his feet up anytime soon.
Throughout his walk he has visited NHS cancer centres and hospitals promoting the charity, with the aim of creating 1,000,000 free patient hospital journeys nationwide.
“When the walk is over, I will be inviting all the hospitals we’ve met with to Daft as a Brush House in Newcastle for a presentation and to begin rolling out the service in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales from 2021.”
Newcastle-based Daft as a Brush and its 350 volunteers provides transport for patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy cancer treatment.
By replicating the service provided in the North East all over Britain and Ireland, Brian is convinced his dream of creating a million free patient journeys each year will become a reality.
Brian adds; “Our fantastic volunteers have kept the service going throughout the Covid-19 crisis and I truly believe there are others all over the country who feel as passionate as we do in the North-East about helping cancer patients on the road to recovery.”