Jeff Jehlik, the son of our good friends Greg and Kim Jehlik, was struck down with this horrible disease a number of years ago. It has been devastating for Jeff, his parents, his siblings April and Nick as A-T increased its relentless grip on Jeff.
Jeff, however, has a spirit and inspirational courage that can’t be bottled. In fact if they included bravery and determination in the Olympic Games, Jeff would be a double Gold medalist. In the last year he has raised more than $40,000 for A-T research by unbelievably pedaling two marathons using a specially adapted exercise bike.
Lloyd and Hazel Currie and myself decided after walking St Cuthbert’s Way last autumn that we wanted to do something to support the inspirational Jeff to reach his goal of raising $50,000 to help A-T research.
OUR ST. OSWALD’S WAY WALK FOR JEFF AND A-T
So, Hazel and Max will be walking the 97 miles of St Oswald’s Way from Holy Island to Hadrian’s Wall at Heavenfield near Hexham to help Jeff raise money for A-T research. Starting out in January 2015, we plan to complete the walk in six or seven stages on successive weekends. Our goal is to raise at least £1000.00 for Jeff.
Lloyd will be taking the photos and posting a diary of our progress along St Oswald’s Way. You can follow Lloyd’s diary of our progress and make a donation by visiting our page here on the A-T website or by sending a cheque to: Hiking the Highway to Hope - P.O. Box 121 - Seahouses NE66 9EA
We would also like to say thanks for the help we are receiving from the Jehlik family and the team at the A-T Children’s Project. There’s more about St Oswald and his place in history at www.stoswaldsway.co.uk
We really appreciate your support
Max, Lloyd, Hazel and Jeff
Stage #1: OFF TO AN EARLY START
Our plans were all set to start hiking the Highway to Hope along St Oswald’s Way on Saturday 10th January. We’d walk the 19 mile first leg from the Abbey on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne to the Castle at Bamburgh, ancient capital of the Kings of Northumbria and now beautiful coastal village.
But, as the old saying goes, time and tide waits for no man …….or woman. Holy Island’s sole link to the mainland is by a mile long sea causeway which can only be crossed at low tide. When we checked the Tide Table for safe crossing times, it was “no-go” high tide during daylight hours for two weeks including Saturday 10th January.
Hazel came up with the solution; walk an initial “mini-stage” a week early, so we could make it across the North Sea causeway in daylight. So, at first light last Saturday, Lloyd dropped Hazel and I off at the island Abbey and we set off hiking the highway to hope.
We hope you enjoy Lloyd's photos of last weekend’s mini-stage and watch out for our next update
BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE
We were thwarted in our ambition to complete Stage #1 a couple of times by the winter weather as a succession of Polar Lows blasted their way over the Scotland. How tedious is that!! Anyway, as we were all eager to hit the road and ready for an adventure, last Sunday we wrapped up a la North Pole and headed off from the coast at Beal towards Bamburgh.
We were soon treated to the full set: snow, sleet, hail and rain complemented by a 40mph northerly gale howling at us direct from the arctic. The route took us across open farmland climbing steadily until we reached the woods surrounding the slopes of the Kyloe Hills.
Enjoying the shelter given by the tall trees we followed all kind of deer and pheasant tracks in the snow uphill before emerging out in to the storm once more at the top of the Kyloes. St Oswald’s Way next took us over the hills and across Swinhoe’s rolling countryside before we tracked the hills down to the village called Belford.
By now, we’d walked twelve miles and could do credible impressions of a pair of drowned rats, so we called a weather time-out and headed home to a warm fire.
A few days later and the storms had moved elsewhere, so yesterday Lloydie drove us back to Belford and we set off, finally completing the eventful first stage to Bamburgh at lunchtime after a lovely hike with no wind or rain.
Some more photos attached and for the next stage, we’re off down the coast via Seahouses and the great castle at Dunstanburgh to the lovely little fishing village of Craster.
See you again soon….