North Lincs man steps out for cancer charity

26 September 2011

A NORTH Lincolnshire man has walked from one side of the country to the other to support an appeal by a local cancer care charity close to his heart.
 
Retired insurance broker Rod Rowbottom, 58, of Kirton in Lindsey, completed the 192-mile Coast to Coast trek in just over two weeks, to raise £2,000.
 
He will present a third of the money to the Odyssey Cancer Care Centre, at Barton Upon Humber, where his wife Jo received support when her mum was ill. 
 
The centre provides free complementary therapies and other services to promote the whole well-being of cancer patients and their carers - and is aiming to raise £3 million to build new premises. 
 
The rest of the proceeds will be split between Lindsey Lodge Hospice, at Scunthorpe, and Cancer Research UK.
 
Rod’s challenge began in St Bee's, in Cumbria, and ended in Robin Hood's Bay, in North Yorkshire, with Rod covering up to 18 miles a day in all weather conditions. 
 
Jo was Rod’s ‘back-up team’, collecting him every evening and taking him to bed-and-breakfast accommodation or their touring caravan, before returning him the next morning to the exact spot she had picked him up from.
 
Rod said: “I hadn’t done a great deal of walking before I took this on and, at times, it was hard going, especially across the Lake District. However the support from Jo, together with other family and friends fuelled my enthusiasm and determination. Also people en route were great, there being a great camaraderie between fellow walkers. 
 
“I’d say I’ve now caught the walking bug! I fully intend to do another fund-raising walk sometime in the future- the Pennine Way looks interesting!”
 
Several members of Rod and Jo’s family have either died or suffered from cancer, which prompted him to take on the walk for cancer charities.  
 
He said therapists at the Odyssey Centre helped Jo cope better with the physical and emotional effects of caring for her mum Gladys Bullock, also of Kirton, for two years prior to her death last year, aged 90.
 
“We were very grateful for everything the staff did and I’m pleased to be able to make this contribution to their appeal which will mean more people like Jo can benefit from the wonderful services,” added Rod. 
 
Plans have been drawn up for a new Odyssey Centre on a field next to its existing base at Nightingale House, in Westfield Road, which it has outgrown.
 
Since the centre opened in 1997, more than 500 clients with various types of cancer have benefited from natural therapies, such as aromatherapy, body massage, reflexology, visualisation techniques and Reiki, the practice of balancing mind, body and spirit by using ‘natural life force energy’.
 
The new centre, expected to open in 2013, will increase therapy rooms from three to ten and means all support and ‘drop in’ services can be expanded. Additional planned facilities include a children’s area and small café and shop.   The pyramid-shaped building has been designed to have as little impact on the environment as possible and create a natural environment for those who use it. 
 
To support the Odyssey appeal, email fundraising@theodysseycentre.co.uk
 
Notes to News Editors:
  
Rod can be contacted on 07931 777743.
 
For more information about the Odyssey Cancer Care Centre or appeal, contact Daisa Morgan on the above number.
 
Additional media contacts:   Deborah Wain on 07903 466228 or at deb.wain@btinternet.com or Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07910 165 444 or at kate@katebettsmedia.co.uk

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