THE memory of an Alderholt man who died of Leukaemia aged only 33 has been honoured by his family and friends.

Darren Beale passed away in April 2019, and a team of his family and friends took part in the South Coast Challenge as team RUN DMB - a play on Darren’s initials and his love of music.

More than £17,500 has been raised for Salisbury Hospice Charity, who supported Darren and his family.

Salisbury Journal:

Darren’s cousin Matt Carter, who took part in the challenge, said: “We are so pleased to have completed the challenge, genuinely a proud moment for us all including Darren’s mum and sister who came to see us cross the finishing line.

"We had an original target of £10,000 which was ambitious but we felt confident about but to exceed that total by an additional £7,500 really was overwhelming.”

The team had signed up to the Jurassic Coast Challenge but due to Covid it was cancelled on several occasions and they were unable to do the new date so did the South Cost Challenge instead.

The 100km walk over two days was across the South Downs Way from Eastbourne to Arundel and took around 19 hours of hiking.

Salisbury Journal:

“We knew it wouldn’t be easy but it was tougher than we thought,” added Matt. “Walking in a straight line for 100km is one thing but taking on lots of cliffs/hills and flint laden paths often on a camber certainly takes it out of you.

"The main struggle is with your feet, they really take a pounding and this is the main thing that stops people completing the full 100km, on the weekend of our walk only 71 per cent of participants actually crossed the finish line.

"We had completed a lot of training and this was vital in preparing ourselves for the general endurance required to complete the walk.”

Salisbury Journal:

What he enjoyed most was “ being with friends and family, enjoying the banter and achieving something as a group”.

Darren was first diagnosed in September 2017. He spent months in hospital with many sessions of chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant. But a year later, the leukaemia returned and he was told he had just months to live.

He chose to stay at home where his family could care for him and his friends could visit.

Darren was later cared for by the Salisbury Hospice Charity’s Hospice at Home team.

Matt said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who sponsored us, seeing the total increasing genuinely inspired and motivated us to continue training through what was an extended period due to constant rescheduling of the walk.

"It was important for us to raise money for Salisbury Hospice Charity in Darren’s memory as they play such an important role in the end of life care of its patients which in Darren’s case was supporting him and his family at home during his final weeks.”



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