Norwich mum joins ex-marine son on trek for charity

Tommy and Mandy Sharpe walked 100km from London to Brighton for charity. Picture: BLIND VETERANS UK

Tommy and Mandy Sharpe walked 100km from London to Brighton for charity. Picture: BLIND VETERANS UK - Credit: Archant

A blood cancer survivor and his mum have made a 100km walk to raise money for blind veterans.

Ex-marine Tommy Sharpe, 34, and Mandy Sharpe, both from north Norwich, have walked from London to Brighton for Blind Veterans UK, raising more than £2,300.

Mr Sharpe he was proud of the achievement. He said: 'If it hadn't been for my mum I probably wouldn't have come in at the time we did.

'I'm incredibly proud of her and certain that if I hadn't slowed her down, she would have had a better finishing time.'

Mr Sharpe joined the Royal Marines in 2002 and while serving in Afghanistan in 2011 he was diagnosed with blood cancer.


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Doctors gave him a year to live if chemotherapy treatment failed, but he made a recovery, which is said he was grateful for.

He said: 'During my recovery I met many inspiring veterans and now I want to give something back to veterans who have to live for the rest of their lives with their sight loss.'

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Mrs Sharpe, 55, said the walk was more challenging than she thought it would be. She said: 'I was quite anxious and nervous about the entire thing beforehand as I thought I might have bitten of more than I could chew but at the same time I didn't want to fail. Neither of us for a single second considered stopping but we had to power through.

'It was an incredibly experience feeling like you're part of something bigger and giving back. Everyone was so positive and encouraged us at every stop along the way.'

It took the pair just over 24 hours to complete the challenge.

Mr Sharpe said: 'We'd gone on training walks prior to the challenge but it was nothing compared to what it was actually going to be like.

'I kept track of the distance we covered and monitored the time we were doing it in, keeping my mum informed along the way. Amazingly we walked the first 52k in 10 hours and 20 minutes.'

The London to Brighton walk is the charity's biggest annual fundraiser, visit blindveterans.org.uk/100k for more information. To donate to Tommy and Mandy Sharpe's appeal, visit justgiving.com/teams/hogandsprogcharitywalk

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