Debbie and Dylan celebrate 20 years of fundraising

Press release posted 17 September 2019

A Bolton woman who was treated for cancer 20 years ago is celebrating with her 20th annual sponsored walk to support The Christie – the specialist cancer hospital that saved her life.

Debbie Worthington was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma – a cancer that starts in the white blood cells in August 1999. Fortunately her treatment was successful and Debbie launched a fundraising drive to thank the specialists who treated her. And every year since, Debbie and an army of her family and friends have set off on a huge sponsored walk around the moors of Rivington, raising an incredible £183,500 for The Christie.

Debbie Worthington and family

The walk has huge poignancy for Debbie. It was during the trek in 2002 Debbie decided to visit her doctors with back pain fearing her cancer had returned. But despite the fact she thought the cancer treatment had made her infertile, she was amazed to discover she was 29 weeks pregnant.

Born just a few weeks later, Dylan is now 16 – and has joined his parents – Debbie and husband Andy – on every walk since.

Debbie, aged 49, said: “The Christie obviously has such a special place in my heart. The amazing Professor John Radford not only saved my life, he gave me my family, and this event is our way of saying thank you. Twenty years has gone so fast. The walk is always an emotional day, but this year celebrating such a significant milestone will make it more special than ever.”

This year’s walk takes place on Sunday September 22nd.

Lindsey Farthing, sporting events manager at The Christie, said: “We can’t thank Debbie and her family enough for 20 years of dedication and support. It takes a huge amount of effort and determination to keep fundraising that long and every penny they have raised helps us support other patients like Debbie. I’m sure this year’s walk will be another fantastic success.”

Debbie can be sponsored online at

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to our patients and their families. The charity has more than 53,000 supporters who helped raise £13.9m last year. 

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.