Ian takes on The MoonWalk London in memory of him mum and sister

I’ve officially been bitten by the MoonWalk bug. It’s my favourite night of the year.

Ian's story:

“My Walk the Walk story starts in 2017 in London when I volunteered at my first MoonWalk. I had seen an advert on Facebook and thought “oh, that sounds interesting! I’ll give it a go” I love volunteering and I volunteer a lot.

One of the reasons for volunteering at The MoonWalk was that my mum beat breast cancer three times and my sister had breast cancer too. My mum had it when I was taking my finals after studying for my degree. She didn’t tell me until after I had done my exams because she didn’t want to distract me, as she wanted me to get on in life and do better than she did. Mum was the best!

Sadly, my mum passed away in 2003 and my sister passed away in 2018 both from cancer. Losing my family has made me even more committed to supporting The MoonWalk over the years.

I absolutely love The MoonWalk night – it’s the highlight of my year and I really look forward to it. I'm still friends with the people I met in 2017 and look forward to a great night every year. I was so taken aback by the amazing walkers and other volunteers I met that night that I decided to walk The Moonwalk London myself.

In 2018, I took part in The MoonWalk because I had always wanted to see London’s attractions by night. When you have thousands of people walking, you encourage each other to keep going. Being in London at 2am is surreal and seeing Tower Bridge, London Eye and other buildings and attractions lit up in pink certainly made my night. That and the volunteers who were amazing and really helped me complete the 26.2 miles.

After completing The MoonWalk, I decided to volunteer again in 2019. I did a double shift of marshalling and spent quite a few hours in the baggage reclaim area. I met more friends there and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I find it easy to keep awake all night as I was helping not only the walkers, but the charities which would benefit from the money raised.

I returned to volunteer in 2022, the first live MoonWalk event after Covid. I worked on baggage reclaim and was excited to renew old friendships. We all knew and remembered each other from 2019 and it was a great way to finish the night.

However, I vowed to walk The MoonWalk London again and it just had to be 2023 - the 25th anniversary of the event. I’ll be walking with my friend Rosie, who I met when we both volunteered at The MoonWalk last year. We’ve been really good friends ever since. Rosie and I will both be wearing decorated bras and I know I’ll be thoroughly enjoying myself!

Ian with his sister Sheila, who died in 2018

I'm not missing out on volunteering though as I will be donating a night of my time at The Moonwalk Scotland in September. Next year I'm volunteering at The MoonWalk London and walking The MoonWalk Scotland. That way I can say I've walked and volunteered at both Moonwalks in the UK.

I often say “volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re useless, but because they’re priceless!” As a MoonWalk volunteer that really strikes a chord with me.

I have officially been bitten by the MoonWalk bug. It is my favourite night of the year. All the friends I have made over the years and being amongst awesome and very inspirational people all make it worthwhile to miss a night's sleep as well as supporting such a great cause. Volunteers and participants are looked after so well by the staff and volunteers. The walk is so well organised and it's always a great occasion. Let's hope there are a lot more MoonWalks to come. See you in London and Edinburgh.”

Thank you for sharing your story Ian and we look forward to seeing you at The MoonWalk London and The MoonWalk Scotland 2023!


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