13th March 2022

Alex and Louise’s fundraising story

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Alex’s mum, Pam, was her number one fan. She supported Alex at numerous dance competitions, several of these taking place at the prestigious Blackpool Empress Ballroom – the perfect place for Alex and her best friend, Louise, to begin their immense trek in memory of Pam.

In the lead up to Mother’s Day 2022, Alex and Louise share their reasons for taking on an incredible challenge.

“Louise was right there beside me throughout mum’s whole lung cancer journey. There’s no one else I’d rather take on this challenge with,” said Alex.

The pair’s challenge is no mean feat, they are taking on a 311-mile trek across 14 days to raise funds for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and Wessex Cancer Trust in memory of Pam, as well as supporting Southampton Hospital Charity and the Children’s Chronic Arthritis Association in honour of Louise’s daughter Lana, who lives with juvenile arthritis.

“We hope to raise more than £5,000 to split between these four great charities,” said Alex.

“We’re not particularly outdoorsy people!”, said Louise. “We don’t do hiking or walking, so this is something out of our comfort zone. The charities we are doing it for are incredible and I don’t think money is enough – raising awareness is important too.”

“Louise and I have grown up together,” Alex explained. “We’ve been through thick and thin. She was there when I needed her most through my mum’s lung cancer diagnosis and palliative care, and I’ve been there for her struggles through her daughter’s illness.

I think until you have lost someone close to you, you don’t realise the difference it will make. You never look at life the same way. It does change you. Mum’s passing has left an unimaginable void in my life.

“Mum was dearly cherished, and incredibly selfless. At 17 years old, I had the chance to dance with Andrey, a World Champion, but he lived in Russia and didn’t speak a word of English. Without any hesitation she supported this opportunity, and a week later my mum had moved Andrey into our family home! She helped every step of the way and loved nothing more than being able to watch us in competitions and shows.”

Our walk

“Pam is certainly our inspiration,” said Louise, “she was like a second mum to me.”

“Mum was always my number one supporter at every competition held in Blackpool,” said Alex, “so the challenge had to start there.”

“The dates we start and finish the trek are really significant. The Sunday [27th March], when we are setting off on our challenge is Mother’s Day. And 14 days later, [9th April] is the anniversary of when mum passed away, and when we plan to finish our challenge back in Bournemouth at the Piccadilly Ballroom.

“To throw into the mix it’s also my mum’s birthday during those two weeks – so I know it’s going to be hard, but I couldn’t think of a better way to cope with it than being with my best friend.”

Show your support and help Alex and Louise reach their target by visiting their fundraising page, https://sponsorme.co.uk/louisejones/holy-walkamole.aspx

Keep up to date with their walk on Instagram and Facebook.