A MAN from Merseyside is planning to make a 500 mile trek to the shrine of St James the Apostle for his Catholic mum who has stage four cancer.
Forty six -year-old Neal Berry from Heswall, Wirral has decided to embark on the Camino de Santigo, to raise funds for his mother Christine, 76, who has been diagnosed with liver cancer and is on palliative care.
“Cancer has brought unimaginable challenges to my mother’s life, but I choose to focus on the love and light she radiates despite her battle,” Neal said on his JustGiving page.
“This pilgrimage is my way of embracing her spirit, celebrating her resilience, and channelling her unwavering strength.
“I am raising funds for St Johns Hospice in Wirral, Merseyside, my mothers chosen charity. I am humbled by the overwhelming support and generosity I have received so far. Your donations and kind words have provided a beacon of hope during this challenging time.”
The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a renowned pilgrimage of medieval origin that sees pilgrims journey to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in the northwest of Spain.
“I’m already quite active and I do quite a lot of hiking,” said Neal.
“I thought it would be good to do it while raising money for her chosen charity which is Wirral Hospice St John’s.”
Located in the grounds of the famous Clatterbridge Hospital, St John’s provides a 16-bed adult inpatient unit, outpatients, wellbeing centre, and hospice at home. The staff team also support carers and loved ones during the care of and after the loss of loved ones.
Over the course of 30 days in September, walking around 20 to 30 kilometres a day, Neal knows he will have to push himself to his limits.
“I’m going to do it on my own,” he said. “I will sleep rough in the trees in my hammock every day. But every blister, every ache will serve as a reminder of the immense love and gratitude I hold for my mother.
“In the midst of pain and suffering, there is a flame of hope that burns even brighter. Your support fans that flame, igniting courage and resilience in my heart as I undertake this pilgrimage. Together, we can make a difference, spreading love, awareness, and support in the face of adversity.”
Neal will be documenting his journey each day on his YouTube channel, for people to see his progress.
If you would like to support Neal with a donation for Wirral Hospice St John’s, visit here.
Story by William Kelly, The Catholic Network