Determined Donna puts her best foot forward for charity
PUBLISHED: 10:37 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:14 25 February 2020
Showing true stamina and buckets of determination, Donna Wilks from Nelson Drive in Exmouth, has dedicated the last 16 years of her life to raising money for good causes.
After sadly losing her aunt to cancer in 2004 and two years later, her father to cancer of the lymph nodes in April 2006, Donna, now aged 43, began her charitable money-making journey by taking part in the annual Cancer Research UK's, 'Race for Life' event.
This popular 5K run became the catalyst for further fundraising activities and events for several charities including the Alzheimer's Society, Parkinson's UK, the MS Society, Breast Cancer Now and Cancer Research UK.
Now an ambitious fundraiser, the mother of four has been spending many-an-hour standing outside Tesco with a money bucket, organising multiple raffles and raising money for good causes via her Just Giving pages. Collectively, she has 12 Just Giving pages - an indication of her numerous efforts and resolute determination to 'just give' - showing an accrued sum of just short of ten thousand pounds!
Throughout the process of fundraising, Donna has also become an impressive endurance hiker. She has partaken in multiple walks in several parts of UK with a company called Action Challenge.
She has hiked from the Lizard to Land's End twice, 26 miles around Stonehenge, 100k from Bath to Cheltenham, 100k London to Brighton, 100k Poole to Bridport, 100k and 50k on the Thames path, 106k around The Isle of Wight, 50k in Chiltern, a marathon walk in London and the marathon distance of the Shine Night Walk in London four times!
It seems she is getting pretty speedy too. She completed her last 100K walk in just under twenty-four hours.
Yet, despite all of these acts of kindness, sometimes life can deal a seriously cruel and bitter blow.
Last November, Donna was diagnosed with untreatable secondary breast cancer which unfortunately has spread to her bones.
The impact on her family has been profound, yet even with such brutal news, Donna's stoicism is shining through. Her determination to continue to raise money for cancer charities has been heightened, and three more lengthy hikes are planned for this year.
Donna's husband, Damon Wilks said: "Donna's diagnosis has had an unbelievable effect on our family but Donna is a fighter and the strongest woman I've ever known".
He added "She has already participated in a winter walk this January and has three more hikes booked for later in the year".
Despite her health condition, Donna completed the 21k winter walk in London, in January, and her forthcoming hikes include a 25k Easter walk, a 25k Jurassic walk and a 25k Thames Bridge walk.
Damon continued: "Donna is just amazing and is coping by getting on with her life as best she can. She is so inspirational. Even though she has cancer she still wants to carry on with her life the way it was before".
He added: "She wants to continue making memories with her family and continue raising money for others through her charity walks".
In between her impressive hikes, Donna and her daughter Danielle are organising a bumper raffle night in aid of Breast Cancer Now on Good Friday, April 10 at The Park Hotel in Exmouth.
Currently, the mother and daughter team are seeking donations and prizes, and would be incredibly grateful to any local business or prize-giver willing to help. Anyone wanting to make a donation can email Donna on: email@example.com
On the night, there will be live music and a bumper raffle with some amazing prizes. Raffle tickets are £1 a strip and can be purchased on the night, or from Donna via her email or from Blooming Kids on the Parade in Exmouth
And Donna's fundraising energies do not stop there, as the day after the raffle, she begins her grand 25K Easter walk!
To support this amazing woman, just Google 'Just Giving - Donna Wilks' and take your pick from her multiple charity giving pages.