‘This photo shows me on the left and one of my best friends, Christiane, on the right.’
So wrote Janet Brook of this lovely photo taken on Ullock Pike in the Lake District, in a post which touched many for its poignancy and inspiration. Described by commenters as ‘beautiful’, ‘a fantastic story’ and ‘true inspiration’, you can read it in full below the photo.
‘This photo shows me on the left and one of my best friends, Christiane, on the right. In September 2002, Christiane was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and being at the most advanced stage was given only months to live.
’But Christiane decided that the disease was not going to dictate how she lived her life. She had always been a keen walker and traveller, frequently by herself. The only concession she made was that she wouldn’t walk or travel alone and most of the time it was me she called to accompany her. We toured New Zealand; we reached the County Top of every county in England; we walked the Cumbria Way; we walked the Hadrian’s Wall Path; we cherry-picked weekends on the Pennine Way; we climbed many Wainwrights; and we explored the Isles of Scilly and the Scottish Islands.
’The photo was taken in September 2009 on Ullock Pike, which was one of the last Wainwrights she climbed. The following year she was diagnosed with secondary lung and bone cancer. She was given monthly doses of chemotherapy but she wrote in her diary – Week 1 Chemo; Weeks 2 and 3 Recover from chemo; Week 4 WALK! The walks became lower and shorter. Gradually, she tired easier and the walks became shorter and shorter until all she could do was amble around her garden.
’Christiane passed away in September 2013, ELEVEN years after diagnosis. I think this just goes to prove the power of walking and the outdoors as well as the power of positive thinking.