Local nurse’s marathon effort to raise money for cancer support

A learning disabilities nurse from Horsham is taking on a marathon challenge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support this June.

Jo Light, who is a Community Learning Disabilities Nurse with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s northern Learning Disability Service in Horsham, will take on the Jurassic Coast Mighty Hike on Saturday 15 June. 

The trek will see Jo walk a near marathon distance - 26 miles - from Weymouth to Wareham along the magnificent, and challenging, world heritage coast.

Jo has been training six days a week, doing a mix of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and boxing classes, alongside weight sessions and lots of walking along the South Downs with her two Border Collies. 

Jo said: “I’m doing this trek in honour of my mum, who passed away at 49 from bowel and liver cancer. She fought very hard to beat cancer but sadly lost her battle, and I promised her that I would continue to fight and raise awareness for her. 

“I really wanted to challenge myself physically and mentally. I’ve done charity runs and mud runs in the past, but nothing this big. The Jurassic Coast was one of my mum’s favourite places to go on holiday, and I know that she will be there with me.

“I’m walking in aid of Macmillan because they offered amazing support to me and my family when we needed them the most. I want other families to be able to have the same support that we had, so I’m hoping to raise as much money for them as I can.”

This year marks the 100th anniversary of learning disability nursing, and Jo is keen to highlight the profession she loves as part of her fundraising efforts.  

Explains Jo: “Mum was instrumental in me becoming a nurse, so it’s perhaps fitting that my hike coincides with Learning Disabilities week in June, and that this year we are also celebrating 100 years since the first learning disability nurse qualified. It was mum’s dream for me to become a nurse, and I’m so proud that I’ve been able to do just that.   

“My job is amazing; it’s just the most rewarding career. I work with some fantastic individuals, and together, with their family, we work out what care and support they need to live the life they want. There is no typical day because every person I work with is unique, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable. I feel like I make a real difference and the smile I get from someone at the end of the day is simply priceless. That’s all the thanks I need.”

If you would like to sponsor Jo, please visit her Just Giving page. Thank you!