David Ansell Reaches 500 Days in Remarkable 1000-Day Walk for Cancer Research
David Ansell walk day in-London

SUNDERLAND’S walking soldier has reached the halfway point of his 1000-day fundraising challenge for Cancer Research UK.

David Ansell, 49, a Regimental Training Warrant Officer with The Queen’s Own Yeomanry reservists, began his latest fundraiser last year on January 5th 2023 when he set off to walk 10 miles a day for 1,000 days for the charity.

He has now been walking for 500 days and just as the Proclaimers said in their famous song, he will walk 500 more.

David became known for his first charity challenge back in 2021, which saw him complete a half marathon every day for 365 days raising nearly £20,000.

He has been inspired by his father David, who died of lung cancer just two weeks into his first challenge, as well as work colleague and friend Lance Corporal Dean ‘Deano’ Ashworth, who died of oesophageal cancer at just 31-years-old, and family friend Chloe Pescod.

Since taking on this unique challenge, which he aims to complete on September 30th, 2025, he has covered 5,000 miles, taken 9.2million steps and burnt 1million calories.

David, who’s based at Fenham Barracks in Newcastle and can be seen regularly walking or as he calls it shuffling, between the two cities, said:

“I’m so pleased to have reached the halfway point and look forward to each day, especially now the weather is better. I still get asked by people each day what I’m doing and I’m proud to tell them I’m raising money for Cancer Research UK.

“So far I have raised nearly £12,000 and have also had generous contributions of trainers to keep me going. I’ve already walked my way through 10 pairs.

“Nothing could prepare me to see my dad go through cancer and die so quickly after diagnosis. It was devastating. Then to see Deano pass at such a young age. I don’t need any other motivation to keep me going, but as each day goes on I hear about other people’s cancer battles and I’m moved to dedicate a walking day to them.

“I’m committed to doing my best to support and help other families and I hope I can inspire other people to make a difference and become a part of the solution to this devastating disease.”

In recognition of his efforts David was a regional fundraiser of the year finalist for the Pride of Britain awards in 2021 and has now been shortlisted for a BBC Make A Difference Award.

With around 19,500 people diagnosed with cancer every year in the North East, the need to make faster advances is clear.*

“Thanks to research many people diagnosed with cancer are still here and can look forward to a future full of special moments with loved ones. Cancer can affect anyone’s life, at any time, so we really have no choice other than to unite against it and help support the scientists to keep making new discoveries.”

David, whose walking challenge will take two years, eight months, three weeks and five days to complete

“To see David reach this milestone is brilliant. He keeps going every day no matter what and is truly an inspiration.

“Thanks to supporters like David, our researchers are working tirelessly to help more people survive. Sadly nearly 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime** but research holds the power to save lives.”

Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North East, Lisa Millett

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