Two brothers are set to put on their walking shoes later this month to walk across Staffordshire in honour of their late father.
Graham Hesp and Daniel Mclean will embark on a lengthy 95-mile walk on Friday, July 14 to raise money for the John Eastwood Hospice.
Back in 1999, their father, Eamonn Mclean, walked the Staffordshire Way, a trip which spans the entire county, to raise money for cerebral palsy. Now, 18 years later, his sons are doing the same walk.
A member of Staffordshire Police Force, Eamonn not only worked tirelessly to safeguard the protection of the public, he also led the way in various charity events to help make a difference to people’s lives.
Before joining the police force, Eamonn signed up for the army aged 15. Described as a “fit and healthy man” by his sons, in an unexpected turn of events Eamonn was diagnosed with cancer in February 2016.
Said Daniel: “We were in the gym together in January and he died in July. He was my dad, so I am always going to say that he was a loving bloke.
“But I think it just goes to show how well thought of he was by so many people attending his funeral. Around 300 people showed up.”
Daniel, 29, from Burton, remembers how he and his brother believed their father would be okay following the diagnosis. The family were told all along that the cancer would be cut out and that it was not life threatening.
However, as the weeks and months went by, Eamonn fell ill and was admitted to hospital, where he became too unwell to receive radiotherapy treatment.
As Eamonn’s pain progressed, he was transferred to the John Eastwood Hospice, in Mansfield. Daniel said that the hospice were incredible in terms of looking after his ill dad.
He said: “The hospice were amazing, they were always able to do a lot more than the hospital did to ease his pain for him. The volunteers up to the nursing staff took so much care of him, it was really nice to see.
“It was nice to know how caring they were, and not just to him – he didn’t know what was going on around him. It was more for the family. We were obviously grieving.”
Daniel and his brother Graham, 36, who is a sergeant in the army, are aiming to complete their 95-mile walk across Staffordshire in just 36 hours. This will leave no time to sleep and little time for food.
Said Daniel, a manager Uttoxeter Leisure Centre, said: “It means a lot to be doing this with my brother. People have asked if they could do the walk with me, but doing it with just my brother is really nice. He’s supported me through everything and, as he’s older, he’s acted in a fatherly way to me, which is nice. Everyone has been so generous. People who we don’t even know have donated which is lovely.”
To support Daniel and Graham, you can donate through their Just Giving page here. All proceeds will go towards Cancer Research and the John Eastwood Hospice.