Blind pensioner to walk 73 laps of local park in memory of best friend

Terry Robinson is taking on 100-mile walking challenge unaided at Glasgow's Queen's Park after his friend died from cancer.

Blind pensioner to raise funds for Cancer Research in memory of best friend by walking 73 laps of Queen’s Park STV News

A blind pensioner is set to raise money for cancer research in memory of his best friend by walking 100 miles around his local park.

Former defence engineer Terry Robinson, 72, who lives in Glasgow’s southside, plans to walk 73 times on a loop of familiar paths around Queen’s Park to raise funds in honour of Jeremy Browne.

Terry and Jeremy were childhood friends, meeting when they both attended Worcester College for the Blind.

The pair continued to be best friends for 59 years until Jeremy passed in October 2022.

Terry said: “We grew up together, so he was the nearest I had to a brother.

“We played blind cricket and blind football – he was very good, me not so much, but we worked very well together and did well as a team.

“Cancer is a terrible way to go, so I’d like to do a little thing that might help stop this happening to others.”

From October 2 to October 8, the pensioner will walk with his long cane to complete the trek unassisted, covering around 100 miles with around 14,000 feet of ascent.

He aims to target 16 laps for each of the first four days, and nine laps on the last day to finish the challenge.

Retired defence engineer Terry will kickstart his challenge on Monday October 2

He said: “I’m hoping friends will come along to keep me company for some of it, but it’s very important to me to complete this challenge unaided so it will just be me and my long cane navigating the route.”

He chose to take on the challenge during the week of his 73rd birthday as the number holds a special meaning for him and Jeremy, who loved amateur radio.

“The number 73 means ‘best wishes’ in amateur radio and it seemed a good number to pick,” he said.

“As well as me turning 73, choosing to complete 73 laps will be like saying, ‘best wishes for a cancer-free future’.”

Terry is supporting Cancer Research UK to help the charity in its work to find new and kinder ways to tackle the disease.

Around 80,600 deaths have been avoided in Scotland since the early-1990s due to advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, according to data from the charity.

Over the last three decades, cancer mortality rates have fallen by 20% after peaking for both men and women in 1993.

Terry was inspired to take up the challenge in May when he joined Jeremy’s daughter to scatter Jeremy’s ashes on Sneug Hill on Fula Island on Shetland – his favourite place in Scotland.

He said: “It was a very special place to him where he used to go on holiday. I came away thinking ‘there’s more I can do.’

“I can’t bring him back, but perhaps I can help it stop happening to others.”

Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Scotland, Fiona MacLeod, said: “The fact that so many lives have been saved in Scotland over the last 30 years is testament to the power of research and, as a result, a huge number of people have been able to reach milestone in their life they didn’t think they’d see.

“Thanks to the generosity and commitment of people like Terry, we’ve played a key role in this progress. Together, we are beating cancer – our research breakthroughs mean every day, people are being diagnosed earlier, have access to kinder and more effective treatments, and some cancers are prevented completely.”

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