Bernard Crossey rambled a 200-mile path between the west and east coasts of Northern England known as ‘Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk’ in honor of his son Sean who died of a brain tumor.
A loving father has kept his word to his late son by carrying his ashes on a 200-mile coast-to-coast walk they wanted to do together before the 29-year-old passed away.
Bernard Crossey rambled a 200-mile path between the west and east coasts of Northern England known as ‘Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk’ in honor of his son Sean.
Sean died in September 2018 after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, just three months after he married his beloved girlfriend, Laura.
His dad carried his ashes on the challenging trek, which raised more than £11,000 for Brain Tumour Research.
Sean took on the challenge himself in 2014, along with a colleague, Stuart Kent, but was unable to complete the final stretch because his feet were so badly blistered. He had vowed to return with his father but died before he was able to.
Sean’s mother, Jo, who is assisting the group as a support driver, said: “We have been meeting people en route and their generosity has been incredible.
“Some have been emptying their pockets to give us all their change to donate. It’s just been wonderful, but the weather’s been horrendous.”
“We feel we’re getting little messages from Sean every now and again to let us know he’s with us. Every time there’s a rainbow we associate it with Sean.
“They’re signs that he’s watching over us, and we’ve got a little urn with his ashes, as well as those interned at Greenacres, so he’s come on the walk with us.”
Bernard said: “It’s a lot of climbing, the equivalent of going up and down Everest, I’m told, so it’s a hard graft but people we’ve met along the way have been brilliant.
“The only problem we’ve had has been the bad weather – it’s been difficult but very pleasurable.”
Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re grateful to everyone taking part in this fundraiser, and especially to Sean’s family who are doing all they can to prevent others from going through the same heartbreak as them.
“Sean’s story is a stark reminder that brain tumors are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any time – it’s the reason we remain so focused on finding a cure.”
Jo said Sean experienced intermittent vomiting, dizziness, and crippling headaches, as well as tingling down his left arm before he was diagnosed.
“He came over and told us he had a brain tumor and that it needed to come out. We were devastated. On top of this, my husband Bernard was away working overseas at the time,” she said.
After surgery to remove most of the tumor, it came back, this time deeper into his brain.
“However, at the end of February 2018, a routine scan dealt us all the devastating blow that the tumor was back and deeper than the last time,” Jo said.
“It was the worst news, but Sean and Laura were determined to continue with their plans to get married in June that year.”
At around 10.30 pm on 19 September 2018, Sean died. “It was very hard to watch. We couldn’t believe what had happened; we couldn’t believe we had lost our boy,” Jo said.
She added: “Sean’s mantra was ‘carpe diem’ – seize the day and just get on and enjoy life. He was always telling us he loved us. I remember one day he said: ‘This must be very hard for you, Mum” and put his arms around me.'”