82-Year-Old Hiker Strides of Compassion Embarking On 26-Mile Trek for a Noble Cause

Published 12/09/2023, 8:14 AM EST

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Instead of enjoying his solitary walk around the park or basking in the sun in the backyard, an 82-year-old resident of Chepstow decided to give marathon hikers a tough call. Ken Vowles emerges as a modern-day trailblazer armed with a heartfelt mission to pursue a solo marathon hike. 

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However, behind this endeavor, there prevails no personal motive, but rather he wishes to champion the cause of people suffering from dementia and the caregivers who showcase determination to take care of the patients. Hence, Vowles’ journey unveils a narrative that transcends beyond the physical challenges of the hike

Hiker overcomes challenges to embark on an awareness journey

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Vowles serves as the South Wales and borders ambassador for the renowned national charity, Dementia UK. As per the research reports, more than 944,000  people in the UK suffer from the disease. Inspired by his role, he undertook the challenging journey of covering 26 miles, starting from Chepstow Rugby Club to Gloucester’s Kingsholm stadium to raise funds and awareness for the charity. 

 

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The hike continued over a span of three days, commencing along the A48 and the dedicated advocate hiking through the picturesque landscapes of the Wye Valley. Even though the 26-mile hike posed physical challenges, it was his heartfelt mission that propelled him to move past all hurdles. 

In an interview with Monmouthshire Beacon, Vowels shared his experience stating, “It all went really well – I enjoyed it, no major mishaps – but I don’t think I’ll volunteer again next year!” On his journey, he was inspired by his personal experience of fighting with dementia. 

Local support helped Vowles to weather his walk 

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The hiker had witnessed Dementia from close proximity when he joined a local support group when his wife was afflicted by the terminal disease before passing away two years ago. As he headed towards his goal, Vowels’ ambitious journey to raise funds has received immense support from local businesses. They served as checkpoints on his hiking route, Hanley Fram Shop, The Forester, and the Review office. 

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These establishments, apart from serving refreshments as the hiker took much-needed breaks, became united, rallying behind his charitable cause and contributing to the sense of community. Each stop became a testament to the collective effort to support the fundraising cause for Dementia UK. He had also sought advice from people with prior experience in long-distance walking. With each step, Vowels demonstrated remarkable resilience, mirroring the strength of those suffering from the disease. 

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Fueled by personal loss and commitment to make a difference, Ken Vowles completed 26 26-mile hikes with purpose and determination. Even though he embarked on a solo hike, he got full support on his way, which resonated as a beacon of hope and left an indelible mark on the landscape of dementia. 

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Written by:

Soheli Tarafdar

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Hey there! I am on a wild ride as a Viral Sports Writer here at EssentiallySports! With a shiny masters in English under my belt, my academic journey has been a cornerstone for my evolution as a wordsmith. My heart always had a soft spot for creative writing, and my fascination with American sports just seemed like a perfect match. But one sport that makes my heart race like no other is Ice Hockey.
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Edited by:

Arnima Shukla

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