Marathon walk set to raise vital funds to bring revolutionary medical imaging to Yorkshire

Walkers taking part in the 2017 Big Walk

A marathon walk through the Peak District, hosted by the University of Sheffield, is set to raise vital funds to bring revolutionary medical imaging to Yorkshire.

Staff, students, alumni, friends of the University and members of the public are invited to take part in The Big Walk 2018 in support of the Sheffield Scanner appeal - which aims to bring the first MRI-PET scanner to the region, to transform research into devastating diseases including Alzheimer’s, cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s and heart disease.

The £2 million ground-breaking facility, which will be one of only eight in the UK, is the most advanced medical imaging technology to date and will be a vital investment in the healthcare of people in the region, across the UK and beyond.

This year’s Big Walk will take place on Friday 22 June 2018 starting in Lodge Moor, three miles west of the University. The route will then pass through Stanage Edge, Derwent Edge, Low Bradfield and Loxley Valley before finishing at the University campus.

Dave Meadows, Development Officer at the University of Sheffield and lead community fundraising officer of the Sheffield Scanner appeal, said:

Medically, it can help thousands of patients but it is also so much more than that. When someone is ill it is not just them that suffers, their family and friends are affected too.

Becky Masaba-Kituyi

"The Big Walk is a terrific opportunity for people to enjoy a day walking in the Peak District whilst raising funds for a cause that will benefit the whole of South Yorkshire.

"The University carries out life changing medical research. The Big Walk is a chance for everyone to support this by opening a new scanner facility that will help to transform our understanding of many devastating illnesses.

"We would love more local people to join us on the Big Walk. Together we can work towards our final target of £2 million to bring an MRI-PET scanner to Sheffield.”

Taking in spectacular sights across the Peak District

The new scanner will provide doctors with a more precise and accurate assessment of serious conditions leading to better treatments and monitoring of patients.

The knowledge provided by the scanner will give researchers the opportunity to take new discoveries from the laboratory into clinical trials and develop new therapies and better outcomes for patients.

Breakthroughs in research will lead to easier and faster diagnosis, characterisation, staging and treatment of disease.

Becky Masaba-Kituyi, from the University of Sheffield’s Admissions Department and alumna of the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, said:

“The Sheffield Scanner has the opportunity to make a real difference to so many lives.

“It has a personal significance for me as my nan passed away a few years ago and shortly after, my grandad passed away too. Both suffered from different forms of dementia.”

Almost 300 people took part in last year’s Big Walk which raised over £100,000 for the Sheffield Scanner appeal. Thanks to generous donations the appeal now stands at £1.4 million.

Caryn Masters, Director of Accommodation and Commercial Services at the University of Sheffield and UNICUS, said:

“My motivation for doing the Big Walk 2018, is that I have personally experienced the impact cancer and dementia can have, through my parents being affected by these diseases.

“I've been lucky enough to take on supported charity walks to Kilimanjaro and Nepal a few years back, so I thought it was time to dust off my boots again. I'm really looking forward to raising funds for this amazing piece of equipment. Of course it’s a bonus in that it’s taking place in one of the most scenic parts of the country.”

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