Mike fulfils his dream of completing the Nijmegen Marches

I loved the fact that we would be starting and finishing every day as a team

Mike is from Ontario in Canada and completed the Nijmegen Marches in 2023 as part of Walk the Walk’s team. Here’s his inspiring story:-

“Taking part in this year’s Nijmegen Marches with Walk the Walk was very special to me.

In 1995, I came to the Netherlands with my mother and the Canadian veterans to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of liberation. That’s when I first heard about the Four Day Marches – the largest multi-day walking event in the world, with more than 45,000 participants. The Marches originally started as a military event more than a century ago, but now many civilians take part too.

Four years ago, I was diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer and had my bladder and prostate removed. The doctors warned me I had a very aggressive cancer - I was on chemotherapy for two years and was very sick, but then I got lucky and started immunotherapy.

My doctor was amazed how much better I was getting - I then joined the gym and started working out.  I retired two years ago and decided to add the Nijmegen Marches to my bucket list. I signed up to join Walk the Walk’s team, taking on 40km a day, every day for four days – a total of around 100 miles. Each day, the walk takes a different route, but always starts and finishes in the city of Nijmegen.

Following the training plan which Walk the Walk provided for the Marches was great for my mental health, as I had been so sick with cancer.  The training and the trip itself gave me something to look forward to, although training alone obviously wasn’t as much fun as walking with a team at the actual event! I am cancer-free, but still have cancer treatment every two weeks. The treatment made it harder for me to train, as the sessions made me very tired for a couple of days afterwards.

It was wonderful to be raising money for people with cancer and I loved the fact that we would be starting and finishing the walk every day as a team. Having said that, I was really worried that I might not be able to march the whole 100 miles. However, my fellow Walk the Walk team members pushed and pulled me along and I couldn’t have completed this challenge without them. They were so supportive - we helped look after each other’s feet and encouraged each other so much!

I enjoyed handing out Canadian flag pins along the walking route each day, and the Walk the Walk team often sang marching songs – it made me so emotional that I would cry.  I have never been prouder of such a strong group of people – some of whom had also been diagnosed with cancer. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

I’m 70 years old now and still having cancer treatment, but still hope to march on at this amazing event for many years to come”.

Thank you for sharing your story Mike! 

Sign up now for the Nijmegen Marches 2024


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