A GROUP completed a 70-mile-long charity walk in memory of a teenager who died from cancer.
The group of friends - including parents of Jess Fairclough, friends from Penistone and her ‘honorary aunties’ - walked to raise money for the same charities who supported the family and their daughter Jess.
Jess Fairclough died from a rare form of cancer - rhabdomyosarcoma - in November 2015.
The Faircloughs are from Liverpool and travelled by train to Penistone to meet close friends from the town and embark on their ‘Long Walk Home’ along the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) - which connects Penistone and Liverpool - to raise money for Young Lives Vs Cancer and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Jess’s parents, Tracy and Rod Fairclough, have arranged various fundraisers in memory of Jess - including Jesstival in 2018 - with help from their friends from Penistone, who they met by chance at Glastonbury a few years ago.
After visiting their friends from Penistone and realising their two homes were joined by the TPT, the idea for the walk was born.
Tracy, 49, said: “We’ve chosen the charities because they gave so much to us while our daughter Jess was sick.
“The whole idea for the walk started out as a drunken joke outside the pub at Oxspring one day, we were visiting our good friends and joked we could walk all the way home on the trail. It was really special for us to start the walk from Penistone because it’s a place that we love so much.
“It was great doing it as a big group as we all kept each other going.”
The group set off last Friday from the Art House Cafe and stayed in accommodation along the route, arriving in Liverpool by 6pm on Sunday.
“Saturday was hard because of the rain, we’d set off slightly later as it was raining heavily and we were walking 12-and-a-half hours that day,” added Tracy.
“I think Jess might have sent that rain to make sure we were earning the money.”
She recalled they met ‘so many lovely people’ along the way, including the owner of a wine bar they visited in Hadfield after Saturday’s long day.
After chatting to the owner, it turned out his own daughter had leukaemia in the past - and he donated £50 on the spot.
The devoted mum said meeting him spurred the team on for finishing the walk the next day.
Tracy’s blisters had worsened badly around three miles from the finish line, but she was determined to make it home for her daughter.
With more than £4,600 in donations so far, they are hoping to reach the £5,000 mark.
The online fundraiser on Virgin Money Giving is called ‘Jess Fairclough’s Long Walk Home’.