Striding out for Stars Appeal after heartbreak

Salisbury Journal: Mark Axford and his step-daughter Sian Barry are taking part in Walk for Wards Mark Axford and his step-daughter Sian Barry are taking part in Walk for Wards

PEOPLE who are taking part in this year’s Walk for Wards to raise money for the Stars Appeal have been sharing their stories to explain why they want to be part of the heart-warming event.

Mark Axford, from Gainsborough Close in Bemerton Heath, will be striding out on June 22 as his way of thanking Salisbury District Hospital staff for the care his family received when his mother was told at the age of 46 that she had just 48 hours to live.

Mr Axford, 29, is taking part in the fundraising walk along with his stepdaughter Sian Barry, 17.

They are walking in memory of Mr Axford’s mother, Julie Court, who died in November 2012. Mrs Court was diagnosed with a bowel condition following a CT scan but it was too late to operate and she was told she had just 48 hours to live. She was moved to the hospital’s Britford Ward where her family was given open access so that they could spend as much time as possible with her before she died on November 13.

“They let us come in and out whenever we pleased,”

said Mr Axford. “They were brilliant.

“My stepdaughter and I are doing the walk to say a huge thank you for all the care and family support the nurses and the doctors gave us in those final days of my mum’s life.”

Mr Axford’s wife Kellie added: “We can’t thank them enough for what they did.”

Walkers are being urged to sign up for this year’s fundraiser, with a choice of a 10k or 3k walk around the Wilton Estate on June 22.Last year’s event attracted 1,500 entrants whose efforts helped raise nearly £80,000 for the charity, with many choosing to give their sponsorship money to the CT Scanner Campaign, and others donating to other hospital departments, including the children’s ward and the burns unit.

To register for the walk, visit and click on events or call the Stars Appeal office on 01722 429005 for a registration form.


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