A father and his two teenage daughters from near Godalming completed an epic fortnight-long, 350-mile, fundraising walk from Hartlepool to Surrey via Oxford and London to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of Keta Hansen, who died earlier this year from the devastating disease.
Inspired by Keta’s brave fight against the illness the family had already raised more than £150,000 over recent years to fund research into the incurable condition and support other families living with Motor Neurone Disease. The walk, dubbed the Journey of Keta’s Life, is the centrepiece of their push this year to raise a further £100,000.
Kevin Street, and his daughters Hebe (17) and Violet (15) walked most of the length of England retracing the life of their beloved wife and mother. The walk began on 23 July in Keta’s hometown of Hartlepool in the North East of England. Over the following 15 days Kevin, Hebe and Violet covered more than 23 miles per day, travelling to Oxford, where Keta was at university and where she met Kevin, then to Battersea, where the children were born, before arriving in Munstead, Surrey, where the family has lived for the past 7 years. Severe weather conditions made the walk even more challenging, including the hottest day on record, persistent heavy rain and flooding.
Along the way, many friends and family joined the walk for a day or more paying tribute to Keta and adding to the fundraising efforts. Awareness was increased through a significant social media following as well as media interest from TV, radio, local and national newspapers. Many strangers, often with a connection to MND, also supported the walk. On the final couple of days over 50 people joined the walk through Surrey.
Kevin says: “Living with MND is the toughest of physical and mental challenges, but no matter what this terrible and debilitating disease threw at her Keta never moaned or felt sorry for herself. Instead she always thought of others and made the best of every situation with a smile and a wicked sense of humour. Her selflessness was truly astonishing. We miss her terribly.
“Keta was a huge inspiration to everyone who met her and inspired us as a family along with many of her friends to complete several fundraising challenges over recent years. This year, having sadly lost her in January, we were desperate to embark on a particularly difficult challenge in her memory, so we can raise awareness, involve as many people as possible and raise as much money as we can.”
Sally Light, Chief Executive from the MND Association says: “Today in the UK, six people will hear the devastating news that they have motor neurone disease (MND). In that instant, their world – and the world of their loved ones – is shattered. Without incredible support like this from Keven, Hebe and Violet the MND Association simply would not be able to fund research to find a cure, campaign and raise awareness of MND and provide its vital support services to those living with and affected by the disease.”
The family is asking that anyone who wants to donate in support of the walk and to help find a cure for this terrible disease visits their Just Giving page: