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Sharon takes on the challenge of a lifetime

Sharon Thomas, of Milnrow, is about to take on the challenge of a lifetime in what is described as a “life changing” trek through Cambodia. 

Sharon, 58, will be doing far more than her recommended 10,000 steps a day in this ‘bucket list’ five day “tough but enchanting” trek that will take her through rice paddies, forests and jungles, past lakes and a magnificent waterfall and even to the peak of Kulen Mountain. Starting and finishing in Siem Reap, the gateway to the ancient world-famous Angkor Wat temple complex, the journey ends with a fascinating archaeological tour – by foot, of course!

“At first I couldn’t really believe that I’d signed up to do this”, said Sharon. “It is so far out of my comfort zone – not least because it will be the first time I have travelled on my own! Now it’s just a few days away I’m nervous but I’m also excited and I’m grateful to all my family and friends for their encouragement. I will be part of a very well organised group, walking between 5 to 6 hours a day to cover roughly 50 miles over the 5 days. Despite the mosquitos, the heat and anything else that's thrown at me I will definitely have some stories to tell.” 

Her decision to support Springhill Hospice spurred Sharon on to take this huge step into the unknown this year. “I have always wanted to do something in memory of my dad, Kenneth Kirkman. He died at only 57 from lung cancer. We watched our 14 stone giant of a man be cut down to just 3 stone at the end and he died in hospital and in pain. That was before there was a hospice here in Rochdale and since then Sharon Thomas, of Milnrow, is about to take on the challenge of a lifetime in what is described as a “life changing” trek through Cambodia. 

I've seen the fantastic work that Springhill do and the difference that the care they give makes to both the person and their families.” 

Husband Stephen, owner of Smith’s Bakery in Castleton, was perhaps more surprised than anyone at Sharon’s decision. He said, “I am so proud of Sharon and even after all these years she never fails to surprise me. It will be a tough physical challenge but she is well prepared and will definitely keep going to the end.”

With less than a week to go till departure time, Sharon hopes to raise as much money as possible for her chosen charity. “Springhill Hospice is such a good cause. I have fully paid for the Cambodia trip and challenge myself so I can promise that all the sponsorship support that I receive will 100% go to supporting the work they do so well.”

If you would like to support Sharon by making a donation to the hospice you can do that online on Sharon's MyDonate page or donations can also be dropped in at Smith’s Bakery on Manchester Road, Castleton.