From John O'Groats to Land's End — Vet School academic walks in mum's memory

15 Jun 2009 12:34:00.000

PA 160/09

A veterinary science academic from The University of Nottingham is preparing to tackle the gruelling 926-mile walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for Cancer Research UK.


Jon Huxley, Associate Professor of Farm Animal Production Medicine in the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, is walking the 1.6m steps between the north eastern and south western extremities of the mainland British Isles in memory of his mother, Gill.


Gill died from Myelodysplastic Syndrome — a form of leukaemia — in January 2007.


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Jon will begin the walk on Saturday 27 June. He expects to average 29 miles a day over five weeks, walking six days a week. During the walk he’ll climb 69,000 feet — twice the height of Everest.


“Mum was always a keen walker and had us doing huge walks in and around North Wales when we were children,” said Jon, 37. “She retained her love of walking all her life and was out walking her dog, Daisy, almost to the end. I decided that walking from John O’Groats to Land’s End will be a fitting memorial to her.


“Mum died from Myelodysplastic Syndrome and that’s why I’m raising money for Cancer Research UK. It has taken almost 18 months to plan and nine months to train for. I’m fortunate that friends and family will be supporting me along the walk and helping me maintain my sanity.


“I cycled Land’s End to John O’Groats when I was 17 and have wanted to walk it ever since but I decided I would walk north to south so that I could leaves the hills in Cornwall to the end when I should be most fit.”


Today more than 1 in 3 people in the UK will develop cancer at some point in their life. But thanks to research, deaths from cancer have fallen by 12 per cent over the past decade.


Becky Elphick, Area Volunteer Manager for Cancer Research UK, said: “We are truly grateful that Jon is supporting Cancer Research UK. This is a gruelling challenge and we wish him the best of luck on his walk.”


For more information or to help Jon reach his fundraising target visit


— Ends —


Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.


Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading independent organisation dedicated to research on the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer and is the largest single funder of cancer research in the UK.  The charity supports research in all aspects of cancer through the work of more than 4,500 scientists, doctors and nurses in more than 30 towns and cities across the UK, including Nottingham.

Story credits

More information is available from Jon Huxley on +44 (0)115 951 6429, 07748 678866, or Becky Elphick, Cancer Research UK, +44 (0)7771 945726,
Tara De Cozar

Tara De Cozar - Internal Communications Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8560 Location: University Park

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