A SALISBURY woman walked 100km following a heart attack and diagnosis of Non-Hodgekin’s Lymphoma and achieved her fundraising goal with celebrity support and a strong team spirit.

Diana Douglas 60, joined 100 trekkers at a charity event which was organised by 'Queen of the Castle' Giovanna Fletcher. 

Salisbury Journal: Diana Douglas (left) and team on Coppafeel charity walkDiana Douglas (left) and team on Coppafeel charity walk (Image: Diana Douglas)

The 'CoppaFeel' fundraiser where more than 100 people walked 100km collectively raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity. 

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Salisbury Journal: Giovanni Fletcher - organiser of Coppafeel eventGiovanni Fletcher - organiser of Coppafeel event (Image: Diana Douglas)

Diana Douglas 60, was thrilled to be teamed up with celebrities Matt Willis from Busted and his wife, Emma who had presented Big Brother.

Salisbury Journal: Diana Douglas and Emma WillisDiana Douglas and Emma Willis (Image: Diana Douglas)

Diana said: “On Saturday, June 10, I arrived at an idyllic campsite at Doxford, Northumberland to meet more than 120 complete strangers. We would spend every waking moment eating, laughing, singing on bus journeys and supporting each other, I have never experienced anything like it in my life and it’s a challenge that comes highly recommended.”

“They were incredibly generous with their time, choosing to spend it all with us at mealtimes and in the evenings and even going to the shop to pick up anything anyone needed plus camping in basic tents the same as us.”

Salisbury Journal: Walking 4km on sand - Coppafeel charity eventWalking 4km on sand - Coppafeel charity event (Image: Diana Douglas)

The trek was intense starting with a roll call, breakfast and then off on their routes. Each person carried 2-3 litres of water each day.

On the first day, Diana’s team had the longest trek walking from Berwick on Tweed to Holy Island.

Diana said: “It’s a flat walk but 26kms and the last four km was across the sand to the island and seemed to last forever. This day tested our endurance, the longest I had walked in training was around 14km.”

On the second day, the team had the hardest trek again having to tackle the highest peak in Northumberland. The Cheviot is 815 metres.

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Salisbury Journal: On the charity Coppafeel charity walkOn the charity Coppafeel charity walk (Image: Diana Douglas)

Diana admitted she struggled. She said: “Just before the summit, I was almost defeated by about 200m of very steep, loose scree, and could not get my breath.

"I contemplated going onto my hands and knees when a physiotherapist called Gemma who had been diagnosed with breast cancer at 30 years old and had undergone radical treatment, ran back down, put my bag on her front and physically pushed me up the last bit."

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Salisbury Journal: Empowerment momentEmpowerment moment (Image: Diana Douglas)

On the fourth day, they took on a challenging undulating route of more than 20 km and stopped at a lake where the moment came when the women removed their tops for an empowering awareness picture.

Salisbury Journal: Matt Wilis in his ice bathMatt Wilis in his ice bath (Image: Diana Douglas)

On the same evening, at the campsite, former Busted star Matt Willis achieved his ambition of creating an ice bath out of a wheelie bin ending up with most of the team taking a dip and on the final day, accompanied by a BBC cameraman, the group spent most of the day singing Busted songs and chants to march to.

Diana said: “More than £370,000 was raised. My total exceeded £3,000 and I would like to thank everyone who supported me, friends and family and corporate sponsors.“