James completes 48-hour march to honour mum
Serving Corporal James Kirby has completed a 48-hour march for Blesma in memory of his mum, who died after contracting coronavirus.
Starting on Friday 30 April, James marched from the Cenotaph in Preston to ITC Catterick and back – a total of 154 miles – in honour of his “beautiful mum”.
Denise, who was a double amputee, died in hospital on 12 March, aged just 59.
“Mum lost both her legs through diabetes and had a stroke which resulted in her losing the use of her hands, but she always had a bit of banter. She was tough,”
“During the march I carried 59 pounds to honour mum’s age and I decided on a 48-hour challenge because I sat with her for two days as she took her last breaths. The route I marched was the same one I drove the day I got a call from the hospital saying mum was going to die. It was tough to remain calm and I had to have a lot of mental resilience in mum’s last moments. I used the same resilience to get through the march and release
my grief in a positive way.”
James raised more than £8,000 for Blesma from his 48-hour challenge.
“I got a lot of support from different people and collected £517 in the Blesma bucket along the way. I’m honoured that I could do it for Blesma, knowing it will help somebody in a similar situation to my mum.”
Following the challenge, the British Army has nominated James to attend an Armed Forces Thank You garden party at the National Arboretum for going above and beyond the call of duty, for which James said he was “honoured”.