A LUDLOW woman has set herself a fundraising challenge to walk 100+ km of Offa’s Dyke in eight days.

Di Lyle, Ludlow Town Councillor since 2012, founder of the Ludlow Repair Café and published poet, will start her trek at Knighton on 25th June and finish at Sedbury Cliffs, near Chepstow, on 3rd July.

The walk is in memory of her daughter, Sam Holland, who died, age 50, of cancer on July 3, 2021, just 11 weeks after having received her diagnosis.

“Sam was the fittest person I, and so many others, have ever known,” said Di. “She taught PE and was head of that Department at the Blue School in Wells, in Somerset, and she exercised every day, either running, swimming, in the gym or cycling, rain or shine. I don’t think there was a single sport that she hadn’t tried or excelled in.”

The cancer spread through Sam’s body at a devastating rate, leaving the medical profession effectively running to catch up. She was admitted to hospital in Bath in May 2021 and was transferred to St Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton in June.

The care she received there was exceptional.

During her life as a teacher and as an outstanding sportswoman, Sam had influenced and inspired many people: her pupils during her 28 year career at the school and many of their children too, as well as friends and family. She has a dedicated Tribute Page on the Hospice’s website and the donations in her memory are a significant reflection of the esteem and affection in which she was, and continues to be, held.

Di’s walk is to raise money for Sam’s tribute page and for the Hospice to continue to give such special care to others like Sam.

“The picture of Sam on her tribute page is of her finishing the 100K Ridgeway Walk and that has inspired me to try to follow in my beautiful girl’s footsteps.

I have chosen the dates of my walk so that I finish on the first anniversary of her death. I know I will be walking with her on that day.”

Ms Holland had had lung cancer that had spread. The first she became aware that something was wrong was when her running times got worse. She was diagnosed with a kidney stone but a scan later revealed cancer.