Kelvin and Lynette Whittaker

British pensioner to attempt 100km hike, in just 24 hours, to raise money for Algarve cancer charity

A 69-year-old British man will attempt to walk nearly 100 kilometres from Faro Airport to his home in Praia da Luz in just 24 hours in a bid to raise money for the Algarve Oncology Association (AOA).

British couple Kelvin and Lynette Whittaker have been organising fundraisers for AOA for over 20 years. They started by selling jams, marmalades and pickles but eventually began organising ‘Pink Ribbon’ charity golf tournaments throughout the Algarve.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made it impossible for the Whittakers to host a golf tournament this year, but, as they say, “the fundraising needs to go on”.

Thus, Kelvin came up with a different idea this October, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If the couple can raise €1,000 by February 28, 2021, he will try to walk all the way from Faro Airport to his home in Praia da Luz in just one day.

“I realise that this will be a tough task for someone who is in their 69th year and that has suffered three strokes in the past 10 years,” Kelvin said.

As his wife Lynette told us, “Kelvin is not a hiker, apart from his daily dog walk.”

“I am out of breath just walking up the stairs,” admitted Kelvin, who is nonetheless due to begin his training soon.

“We realise 24 hours is quite an ambitious goal, perhaps two or three days will be more realistic,” Lynette added.

An online fundraising page where donations of any kind can be made has already been set up. Kelvin and Lynette are hoping to raise at least €1,000, although they are looking to raise “at least double that amount”.

“We have always been passionate about raising breast cancer awareness,” Lynette said. “Even back in the UK, we’d already held fundraisers for cancer charities.”

Many decades ago, when Kelvin and Lynette first started visiting the Algarve, “there weren’t even any breast cancer screenings for women,” Lynette told us.

The work that the couple and many others accomplished over the years helped the region finally get its first mobile breast cancer screening unit.

Hopes are that this latest charity initiative will help AOA continue to improve prevention and make lives better for those facing breast or any other kind of cancer.

The online fundraiser can be found at https://gogetfunding.com/kelvins-walk

By MICHAEL BRUXO
michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com