Over the weekend, more than 800 people took part in the 5k walk around the Salford Quays and MediaCityUK in support of The Christie Charity.

‘Night of Neon’ which took place on World Cancer Day (Saturday 4 February), marks the first organised walk for The Christie since 2019 due the pandemic.

Participants donned colourful tutus, legwarmers and glow sticks and many had names of loved ones pinned to their backs for who they were walking for.

A group of friends from Manchester put on their bright tutus and sparkly make up and joined the crowd to show their support for The Christie.

Night of Neon participants before the walk. From left to right: Louise Mather, Kelley Foley, Francesca Osborne, Diane Varden, Vicki Harrison and Amanda Burns.

All six women have been affected by cancer either through loved ones, or themselves directly.

Diane Varden from Manchester decided to complete the walk for her husband, Mark Varden who was diagnosed with cancer last year.

Diane Varden is walking for her husband Mark Varden who was diagnosed with cancer last year.

She said: “[The Christie] isn’t a place you would want to go, but if you do find yourself there, it is a lovely place and having a loved one that is suffering with cancer, you know how much support they need and the help The Christie provides is fantastic.’

Despite some technical difficulties, the night kicked off around 7:20pm in the Lowry Plaza with a warmup lead by Pure Gym, before the crowd set off for the walk just after half past.

The on-off rain didn’t dampen the walkers’ spirits and crowd of neon orange lit up Salford as they made their way around the Quays to the finish line where they received their medals.

Night of Neon participants with their medals. From left to right: Kelley Foley, Louise Mather, Francesca Osborne, Vicki Harrison, Diane Vardy and Amanda Burns.

Another participant, Louise Mather, said: “I want to raise as much money as possible and awareness for cancer because I have had so many family and friends who have been affected, some who have survived and some who have not, and we need to do something about this terrible disease.”

Francesca Osbourne also took part in the walk for her father, who was supported by The Christie during Lockdown.

Another walker, Kelley Foley, said: “I am doing this for my friend Diane and her husband, but also for my mum who passed away from cancer. Once cancer in your life it never really leaves you so I am doing this walk to help support cancer research and for all the other people who are affected”

The Christie charity supports over 60,000 patients a year with The Christie NHS Foundation being the largest single site cancer centre in the UK.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit the their Just Giving page (all donations will go directly to The Christie).


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