Amy's Army marches on to Penwortham after conquering her Great Wall of China challenge

The foot soldiers of “Amy’s Army” are marching on in spite of conquering the Great Wall of China in less than a month and raising more than £12,000 for charity.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 4:40 pm

The 500-plus recruits have collectively covered the equivalent of all 21,196km (13,171 miles) of the wall and have now set off to walk home to Penwortham.

Local runners Martin Crowley, Andrew Hounsell, David Rose and John Gregory completed the final 200km stretch by each running 50km from Penwortham to Southport and back in just over six hours.

Joining them for the last kilometre was Penwortham mum-of-two Amy Mills, 31, who founded Amy’s Army to mark the first anniversary of her being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Amy with husband Gareth and sons Henry and Sammy.

Having undergone three surgeries, 18 weeks of chemotherapy and 15 radiotherapy sessions, Amy set up the fundraiser for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

Her Army have been walking, jogging or running the equivalent of the Great Wall and have now carried on to cover the distance back to Lancashire.

“I can’t believe how quickly we’ve walked the wall, which I used to visit during the two years I worked as an English teacher in China,” said a delighted Amy.

“The consensus was to continue walking and running for Amy’s Army, which is also highlighting breast cancer as a disease that can affect anyone regardless of age or fitness.

Amy on the Great Wall of China which inspired her charity fundraiser.

"Initially, I wanted to raise £1,000. It then grew to £10,000 and now that target has been smashed. I'm so grateful to everyone for their unbelievable support.”

“I was only 30 when I was diagnosed and I had no history of cancer in my family. I couldn’t believe it.

"With being in lockdown, I kept what I was going through largely to myself and those who had to know but I then decided to do something positive to raise awareness of this cruel disease and as I will be a patient there for the next three years, raise money for the chemotherapy unit. I cannot shout enough how wonderful all the nurses and other staff on the unit are.”

Amy, who is married to Gareth with whom she has Henry (six) and Sammy (two) and was training to be an accountant before her diagnosis.

Among the latest enlistees to her army were those who turned out, socially distanced, to welcome the four runners home and added to funds by buying cakes baked and donated by family and friends, pizza donated by Salvatore’s, of Penwortham, and raffle tickets with prizes donated by lots of local businesses.

To sign up to Amy’s Army to help it get back from China, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/442231420351659/?ref=share