23 September 2021

A local man who lost his wife to breast cancer two years ago has raised over £7,500 for Katharine House by walking a staggering 150 miles across Scotland and climbing the UK’s highest mountain.

Robbie Cooke from Banbury set himself the massive challenge in memory of his wife Jan who died in 2019 at the age of 34. The couple received care and support from the hospice for two years following her diagnosis.

Covering 16 miles a day, the epic journey took Robbie from Lossiemouth, near the North Sea coast, and along the famous Speyside Way to the small ski resort of Aviemore, before joining up with the less-travelled East Highlands Way all the way to Fort William, where Robbie and Jan honeymooned in 2014.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Robbie then took on the mammoth task of climbing all 1,345m of Ben Nevis in a meagre three and a half hours!

Robbie completed his task in just 10 days, setting out from his starting point on Thursday 2 September, before reaching the peak of the famous mountain on Saturday 11 September. 

An elated Robbie said: “A huge and emotional thank you to everyone who helped, shared and donated - helping to smash my original fundraising target.

“I decided to walk across Scotland because it is where we shared some of our happiest memories. I was born in Elgin and, although Jan was proudly Texan, she fell in love with Scotland when she visited with me and often referred to it as her ‘favourite place on earth’. 

“Jan’s last few days were spent at Katharine House in a beautiful, private space surrounded by family and friends. The hospice was a rock of support for both of us and helped us spend our last years together with as much fun and love as we could. They did so much, there’s simply too much to cover.” 

Robbie has recently become a trustee for the charity, wanting to give back to the organisation who helped support him and his wife at the most difficult of times.

You can support Robbie on his JustGiving fundraising page and watch his video about the support that Jan received at Katharine House.

Katharine House Hospice