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Dani's marathon walk in memory of her father

By Advertiser Reporter

Dani Ashwell is walking 268 miles to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity
Dani Ashwell is walking 268 miles to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity

A 17-year-old has started a 268-mile charity fundraising effort in memory of her father.

Dani Ashwell, of Kirklington, who is walking the Pennine Way from Kirk Yetholm, Scotland, to Edale, Derbyshire, set off on Good Friday and hopes to finish on Tuesday.

The walk is part of her bid to raise £1,000 for Brain Tumour Research as a tribute to her father.

Mr Igor Ashwell was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumour, in October 2006, and was given 12 months to live.

He fought the disease for 22 months before he died, aged 50, in August 2008, when Dani was six.

She is being accompanied by her father’s best friend, Mr Chris Flewitt, 60, who has completed the walk twice before.

Dani’s mother, Mrs Karen Ashwell,is driving a motorhome in support.

She said: “Igor was extremely fit and lived as long as he did through sheer determination.

“He loved walking and long-distance running, which is where I think Dani gets her athletic nature from.”

Mr Ashwell, an electrical engineer, was a six-time British go-kart racing champion. He also won a karting British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Dani, a Nottingham Girls’ High School pupil, is no stranger to arduous challenges.

She cycled 300 miles from London to Paris in four days when she was 14, raising £3,000 with a team from the school for PASIC, a charity that provides support to families of children with cancer in the East Midlands.

Dani has also completed the 96-mile West Highland Way walk, which stretches from Milngavie, Glasgow, to Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland.

'He would be proud of what I am doing'

Dani, a Newark Hockey Club player, said: “I have been looking forward to the walk.

“It is going to be so tough but I love pushing myself and this is a great way to do it.

“My dad did the Pennine Way in quarters when he was younger so I am following in his footsteps.

“I think he would be proud of what I am doing and would love the fact that I am into the same kind of things he was.”

Mrs Ashwell said: “I have no doubt Dani can do it.

“Her stamina is amazing and she has a mind-over-matter attitude that will push her through.

“I am extremely proud. Her spirit and determination just shows that she has her dad in her.”

Dani, who is studying A-levels in chemistry, maths and geography, wants to join the RAF as an intelligence officer.

She will be travelling to Costa Rica in July with her school to tackle charity projects, including tree planting in places badly affected by hurricanes.

Anyone wanting to support Dani can make a donation at her JustGiving page, www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dani-ashwell04


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