Caerphilly man sets off on 1,000 mile trek in memory of late father
A Caerphilly man is trekking 1,027 miles around Wales in memory of his late father who helped establish the new coastal pathway.
Dave Quarrell, 27, is hoping to raise £20,000 for Cancer Research Wales with the walk almost a year after his father Gerry died of stomach cancer on May 9 2011.
Dave started his journey on May 5, the official opening date of the Wales Coast Path and is hoping to complete the trek on what would have been Gerry’s 58th birthday – July 26.
Dave said: “My Dad was a big figure in his community – he was heavily involved in fundraising for the local church, primary school and Scout group, and he was a lively member of Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir.”
Mr Quarrell’s father was diagnosed with stomach cancer in summer 2010 and fought a year-long battle with the disease. For much of this time he was unable to eat as the tumour was blocking his stomach. Before his death, Gerry was able to leave his hospital bed to make it to son Dave’s wedding to Tasha in April 2011.
He was also head of the Welsh Government unit responsible for the creation of the Wales Coast Path – meaning Dave’s trek will have extra special significance
The Wales Coast Path has linked up existing walking routes such as the Pembrokeshire, Gower and Lleyn Peninsula paths and the Offa’s Dyke National Trail which skirts the Welsh border from Prestatyn to Chepstow. Wales is now the first country in the world with a public walking trail around its perimeter.
Dave said: “If it wasn’t for my for my Dad’s illness, he would certainly have been at the opening of the path and he would have loved to take in some of the route himself. So my aim is to Walk Wales on his behalf – as a really meaningful tribute to his memory.
“The idea first occurred to me in the few days before the funeral; many of the condolence cards we received from Dad’s former colleagues mentioned his passion for the project. I did some quick calculations and realised that if I walk at an average 15 miles a day, six days a week, I’ll complete the walk on or around Dad’s 58th birthday on July 26, and just before the start of the Olympic Games.
“All in all – it just seemed that the walk had to be done, and it had to be done then. I hope he’d approve.”
Cancer Research Wales fundraising manager Laura Hooper said: “Dave has set himself a huge challenge and one that is extremely poignant and meaningful to him. His story is obviously sad and unfortunately we see people losing loved ones to this terrible disease all too often. That is why we need people like Dave to help us fund the work that our scientists and PhD students do to discover as much as we can about cancer and find treatments.
“We wish Dave the best of luck on his trek and will be there to welcome him home in July.”
To find out further information about Dave’s fundraising walk, visit www.walkwales1027.comFollow @CaerphillyObsvr