Charity walkers set off from the Sunset Beach Hotel this Saturday morning.

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Charity walkers set off from the Sunset Beach Hotel this Saturday morning. Anthony Piovesan

More than one thousand people step forward to raise funds for Cudeca at annual Walkathon

Sisters Catherine and Debbie Metcalfe have supported the palliative care charity walk in Benalmádena for many years, but taking part this year was extra special

Anthony Piovesan


Saturday, 3 June 2023, 17:13

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English sisters Catherine and Debbie Metcalfe have been participating in the Cudeca cancer care charity Walkathon for years, but this year was extra special.

Catherine lost her daughter Cristina to cancer at just 40 years of age in February and experienced firsthand the importance of Cudeca’s work.

The non-profit foundation offers specialised palliative care for people with cancer and other advanced diseases, and supports their families completely free of charge.

Around 1,300 people turned up to support the cause for the charity’s annual Walkathon in Benalmádena today (Saturday, 3 June), which consisted of 5 and 10km routes along the picturesque promenade.

Sisters Debbie and Catherine Metcalfe.
Sisters Debbie and Catherine Metcalfe. Anthony Piovesan

“We’ve always admired what Cudeca does and now we’ve had experience and we’ve seen firsthand how brilliant they are - we’re very lucky to have them here,” the Metcalfe sisters told SUR in English.

Carol Fishwick didn’t think twice about coming down to the sunny promenade, early on a Saturday morning, to support the cause.

“We should support Cudeca in any way we can because of the amazing work they do to support people at the end of their lives,” the 58-year-old from Lancashire said.

“Being among this camaraderie and being out in the sun with everyone else has made today such an enjoyable experience.”

Warm-up routine

Walkers enjoyed a fun Zumba warm-up routine to get ready, before being set on their way.

Sunshine bathed the Costa del Sol this Saturday morning as the first group of walkers set off from the Sunset Beach Hotel at 10.30am, and then a second group went on their way on the shorter route along the main promenade towards Puerto Marina, before turning around and heading back to the finish point at the hotel.

Walkers were cheered on by onlookers and well-wishers as they strode along the beach in their bright pink Marcha por Cudeca t-shirts. Vehicles passing by honked their horns in support of the walkers who made the journey in about three hours.

After some much-needed refreshments, walkers dug into a delicious paella, cooked up by a talented team of cooks.

An enjoyable afternoon of activities with events company Exploramás followed, including a special Hindu festival of colours party; Holi - the well-known Indian party celebrates the arrival of spring and involves people throwing coloured powder at each other.

Praise for volunteers

Cudeca medical director Marisa Martín praised the more than 100 volunteers involved in organising the walkathon and all of the people who participated.

“Today is always a very special day because it's a day where we all get together, the volunteers, families of the patients we have cared for, our medical team, fundraising team, everybody is here and it means a lot to the people that keep Cudeca functioning every day,” she said.

“We not only receive the funds, but we receive a lot of warmth and care from people who really believe in what we’re doing and that gives us the strength to continue every year.”

More than 1,300 walkers took part in the walk last year, raising more than 18,000 euros. Funds raised this year are still being counted.

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