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Sarah’s Inca trail trek in memory of patients

15 June 2016

Health Care

When Sarah Barnicoat, 48, from Southchurch, completed her four day trek in Peru that culminated in Machu Picchu appearing through the misty clouds, her thoughts were of elation.

But they were also of reflection as she'd done the trek raising money for Kidney Cancer UK. Sarah works with kidney cancer patients as part of her job as urology oncology clinical nurse specialist at Southend University Hospital.

She said: "I've looked after kidney cancer patients for the last five years and treatments have much improved during that time. This means patients with a terminal prognosis are living much longer and we form a closer bond."

One such that Sarah bonded with patient was Suzy Wilson, who sadly passed away two years ago. Suzy's husband, Colin, supported Sarah all the way and Suzy was in Sarah's thoughts as she walked the trail.

Sarah added: "The courage the patients show throughout their treatment was one of the main reasons why I wanted to do something out of my own comfort zone. Also, it's not as well funded as the other urological cancers that I look after so really wanted to raise some money and awareness. I've had some amazing support from colleagues, especially from our urological support group, cadgers, who turned up to pretty much everything."

The eight months fundraising and training clearly paid off, which included everything from car boot sales to a curry night for over 70 people. In the final weeks Sarah also stepped up her training regime, quite literally, running Rocky-style up and down The Cliffs steps near the seafront. There was no way to prepare for the altitude but Sarah reached the highest peak, an astonishing 4,215 metres (in comparison Mount Snowdon stands at 1,025 metres).

Sarah was still standing tall at the end, and proud, knowing that she had raised over £4,000 in memory of her past patients and to help those in the future.