A RUBERY grandmother is walking the Great Wall of China in October in memory of her son and to raise £3,000 for Acorns Children’s Hospice.
Joan Goodger, 61, lost her son Paul in 1995 at the age of 12 after he was diagnosed with an in-operable brain tumour four years earlier.
During those years volunteers from Acorns supported the Goodger family and helped them deal with the grief afterwards.
Mrs Goodger said: “Paul went from a cradle to a coffin in 12 short years. I was not expecting to arrange a funeral for my own son.”
He was the eldest of four boys and also left three sisters behind.
Mrs Goodger added: “You hope you will never need Acorns’ services – it’s unimaginable – but at the same time I’m so thankful it’s in place for anyone who does.
“I have three healthy grandchildren who, thankfully, do not need support but there are many children out there who still do.”
Mrs Goodger is taking the trek along the Great Wall of China very seriously, with training already under way.
She has started walking up and down the Malvern Hills with a Snowdonia guide, who plans to get her fit and ready.
The hospice in Selly Oak, where Paul passed away, donated a statue of a little boy to Mrs Goodger who said she still ‘treasured it’ and was ‘so thankful’ for the gift as it would remind her of Paul when she began the trek.
“Right now I am not fit and will need to train hard for this challenge.
“I will do it thinking of my son the whole way. He was a brave and inspirational child.”
Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joan-goodger for more information or to donate.