A brother and sister from Cheshire are climbing three mountains in a day in memory of their parents who both sadly died from cancer. They’re taking on the challenge, which will see them walk nearly 25 miles and ascend over 5,500 feet, to raise money for The Christie, the specialist cancer centre where both their parents were treated.
Harry Cowell, a 22-year-old dairy farmer, and 24-year-old Lydia Cowell, who works for the Environment Agency, are from Marton near Macclesfield. Harry still lives there in the family home, but Lydia now lives in Lancaster with her boyfriend.
Harry and Lydia are walking for their dad, Adam Cowell, who died at 51 in 2017 after a year-long battle with aggressive lymphoma, and their mum, Julie Cowell, who died from secondary breast cancer in 2021, aged 56. Adam was originally from Pontarddulais in south Wales, whereas Julie was from Bury in Greater Manchester. They both had careers supporting people with learning disabilities – Adam worked in garden maintenance and Julie was a teacher.
“My parents were both treated with such care and respect by the staff at The Christie,” says Lydia. “Dad’s cancer was too aggressive to treat, so he spent a lot of time as an inpatient in the hospital. They made sure he was as comfortable as possible, and we couldn’t be more grateful for that. Mum received her treatment for secondary breast cancer as an outpatient and the staff were brilliant with her. In addition to the care they had at the hospital, the team also made sure they could both be at home for their final days. That meant the world to us.
“Being a younger person who has experienced loss, especially a loss like ours, can feel very isolating,” continues Lydia. “Doing this challenge gives us a way of talking about our parents while also giving back to The Christie.”
“I saw a poster for the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge and thought that it’d be a perfect challenge for us as we love walking,” adds Harry. “We’ll be taking on three mountains and walking around 25 miles across the day – that’s almost the same distance as a marathon. It’s going to be really tough, but I know we’ll smash it.”
“I want to wish Harry and Lydia all the best for their epic hike,” comments Josh Hughff, sporting events officer at The Christie charity. “They’re both so passionate about The Christie and we’re really grateful that they’ve chosen to fundraise for us. There are still places available for the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge and we’d love to have more people joining us on the day.”
To find out more about the Yorkshire Three Peaks event and other events the charity has lined up this year, please visit our events calendar.
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.