Rugby family’s sponsored walk to send mum battling cancer to visit brothers in Australia

Mick Thomas and his family are raising money to send his wife to Australia
Mick Thomas and his family are raising money to send his wife to Australia

A determined daughter is walking from Rugby to Southend-on-Sea to raise money to fly her cancer-stricken mother to visit her brothers in Australia.

Gill Thomas, who has worked at the Hospital of St Cross for more than 30 years, was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in February and has undergone chemotherapy and a major operation.

Now her daughter, Julie Hands, is taking on a sponsored walk to send Gill to Australia to visit her two brothers who have lived there for more than 40 years.

Gill and her husband Mick have only met up with her brothers around ten times.

Julie and her husband Craig will walk from Rugby, where the family currently live, to Southend-on-Sea, where the family were originally from.

“Julie and her husband have been walking every day since March - they even stuck to their plan while on holiday in Corfu,” Julie’s father Mick said.

“I am very proud of the effort they have put in.

“Julie will walk from Rugby to Southend-on-Sea, where our family is originally from, and she will walk the last mile down the pier.

“Many of our friends and relatives have said they will walk some of the distance alongside her.”

The 135-mile sponsored walk takes place in the first week of September.

Any funds left over after the trip to Australia has been paid for will be donated to Cancer Research and the Oncology Department at University Hospital Coventry.

Gill first worked at St Cross as a ward clerk on the Men’s Surgical Ward, then from 1985 she worked as a phlebotomist .

Mick said: “Gill is well known in Rugby, if not by name then by sight, as she has taken blood from a lot of people over the last 30 years!”

Gill’s family have raised £975 so far. Go to