Charity walker Brian sets foot in his fourth country

Brian Burnie at Howth Peninsula, near Dublin.
Brian Burnie at Howth Peninsula, near Dublin.

Charity founder Brian Burnie has set foot in his fourth country as his 7,000-mile walk around Great Britain and Ireland continues.

The 74-year-old has arrived in Dublin on the next stage of his mammoth trek – for a six-month, 2,000-mile walk around the island of Ireland.

He has already walked more than 3,000 miles around the coastline of Northumberland, Scotland, Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside and North Wales.

Brian and his wife Cheryl will be on the road for at least another one-and-a-half years on their challenge to create one million free cancer patient journeys, nationwide.

They are staying on a converted double-decker bus, dubbed Bluebell.

His charity, Daft a Brush Cancer Patient Care, offers 30 staffed custom-made vehicles to transport outpatients, free of charge, to and from hospital, where they are undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy cancer treatment.

It provides 40,000 cancer patient journeys every year, involving 350 volunteers.

Walking up to 20 miles a day is testing for Brian, who is also dealing with the effects of Parkinson’s disease.

“I fully admit I have struggled at times, but chatting to people I meet and the support from my wife Cheryl, really keeps me motivated and determined,” he said.

“We’re arranging appointments with oncologists and radiographers in Ireland to discuss the charity’s services and possible integration in the region.

“One thing I’ve heard so many times on the walk, is that patients struggle with transport to and from hospital on a daily basis.

“In the North East of England we’re part of their journey to recovery – let’s bring the free service to patients all over Great Britain and Ireland.”

You can follow Brian and Cheryl on the walk at www.bluebellbus.org.uk