AN annual sponsored walk in memory of a beloved wife, mother and friend has raised over Â£ 10,000 in the past three years.
John Rochford organized the walk in memory of his wife Dorothy, known as Dot, who died in January 2018 after living with motor neuron disease.
He said: âI decided to do a small sponsored walk for the Motor Neuron Disease Association on or around Dot’s birthday on September 12th.
âI think it gives family and friends a chance to meet and remember Dot.
Dot has three children and four grandchildren. She was born in Slough and has lived in Langley Park and then Esh Winning, among other places.
âHer previous jobs were at Safeway in Durham and Durham University in the cashiers department. After her death, her co-workers at the university organized a memorial day for her and raised a large sum for her. charity.
âThat’s when I decided to see if we could lift a little bit by going for a walk for the MND.
âThe first year our friends and families took a walk from Esh Winning to Old Esh and back and we raised around Â£ 1,800.
âWe couldn’t believe the generosity of people and decided to do it every year because everyone was having fun.
âYear after year more and more people are joining us and over the past two years we have traveled Durham. Last year we were limited by the rules of Covid, so this year we decided to try to raise some additional funds with a street drive.
âWe had a lovely day – the weather was perfect and there were 37 of us including Dot’s children and one of her grandchildren.
Also on the march, Alistair Hassan and his son who walked with us in memory of his uncle Paul Hasson of Esh Winning, whom many walkers knew, who also passed away from MND.
âSome of the marchers were in disguise and the majority of the rest were dressed in MND shirts.
“We walked from the market square to the cathedral, then along the riverbank to the boathouse.
“We then walked to Shire Hall, then over the Bath Bridge and to the Shincliffe Rosebush.
âWe then crossed the river and came back down to Durham, where we stopped for a refreshment in the boathouse.
âWe celebrated Dot’s birthday with a drink and sang her happy birthday.
âThe walk was about 6.5 miles and everyone had a great time.
âWe have raised Â£ 430 with the street fundraiser and with the online donations and sponsorship forms we will probably raise around Â£ 4,000.
âI want to thank all of the walkers and everyone who donated.
âThe generosity of the people is exceptional and I hope that this money will be used to find a cure for this terrible disease.
âWe are now on the verge of raising Â£ 10,000 in total so far.
âDorothy was a lovely, kind and beautiful woman with a great sense of humor.
“She would be surprised if people collected this money in her honor.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation in Dot’s memory to the MND Fund can do so at dorothy-rochford.muchloved.com/fundraising/events/64315926.
You can also visit www.mndassociation.org.