A retired primary care nursing expert has proved she is still up for a challenge by walking across England to both raise money for charity and celebrate her 70th birthday.
Professor Sue Cross, joined by her husband, started the 190-mile Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood Bay in North Yorkshire on the 25 of May.
“We wanted to do something that was different and memorable”
Speaking about her alternative birthday celebration, Professor Cross said: “We’d done all the dinners and the parties before. We wanted to do something that was different and memorable. It was a challenge it see if we could still do that kind of thing.”
Although she admitted that the “Lake District was hard because of the hills and in the Yorkshire Moors the weather was quite bad”, Professor Cross persisted through the obstacles to arrive at the walk’s finish on 10th June.
In addition to challenging herself, she also used her birthday walk as an opportunity to raise funds for the Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger, Bedfordshire.
The hospice is important to her because she has lived and worked in the area they serve for 30 years. In her role as a primary care nurse specialising in respiratory disease and allergy, she witnessed the valuable hospice and neurological care they provide her community.
Like nursing, Professor Cross’ love of hiking is a lifelong endeavour. A few of her previous adventures have included walking the Hadrian’s Wall Path and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa with her son.
When asked if she was planning another coast to coast walk for her 80th birthday, Professor Cross laughed and said: “It’s highly unlikely, but we might do. My husband’s already saying ‘what will we do next’.”
Formerly a visiting professor at Buckinghamshire New University and London Southbank University, she was general practice nursing advisor to Londonwide Local Medical Committees until July 2015.
While holding the university roles, Professor Cross also continued her clinical practice, working for the last six years running a respiratory clinic in HMP Bedford.
In addition, during her career, she has worked as a practice nurse, nurse practitioner and was previously chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s nurse practitioner forum.
The Coast to Coast Walk is a 192 mile (309km) unofficial long-distance footpath in Northern England. Devised by walker and author Alfred Wainwright, it passes through three national parks – the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.
Primary care nursing expert crosses country for charity
Source: James F. Carter