Alvechurch villager Dean Marsh is planning to trek across the Sahara in memory of his partner Sarah Quiney and to raise money for Macmillan nurses and the hospital ward that cared for her.
Sarah, who owned The Village Tea Rooms in Barnt Green, died from cancer in September last year and now Dean wants to thank the “angels on earth” who were there to help during a traumatic time.
He will walk 78km through the Sahara, camping all the way, eventually arriving in Marrakesh.
He is hoping his October trek will raise £6,000 for Macmillan nurses and Ward 622 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham – and at the time of writing was already three quarters of the way towards his fundraising target.
Dean said: “Sarah is the love of my life and her diagnosis had a huge emotional impact on us both.
“Although her short stay in the QE was traumatic, I cannot begin to thank the staff who cared for both of us when we were at our lowest – I truly consider them angels on earth.
“I would like to specifically thank nurse Rachel Ede who went above and beyond to support us, even staying past the end of her shift to continue to sit with me.”
Dean added: “I have been blown away by how quickly donations have been flooding in from all over the world in honour of Sarah’s memory. This challenge has given me something to focus on and my way of giving back to the absolutely incredible staff at the QE. I know Sarah will be by my side every step of the way.”
Cathryn Worth, Fundraising Manager at UHB Charity, said: “We are incredibly humbled by Dean’s story and cannot thank him enough for selflessly choosing to support us during this immensely difficult time.
“Our thoughts are with him and Sarah’s family and wish him the very best of luck with his fundraising challenge.”
Dean’s fundraising page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/deansaharatrek