Sisters’ charity campaign follows dad’s sudden death

L-R Julie, Dave and Louise

L-R Julie, Dave and Louise - Credit: Archant

Sisters Louise Martens and Julie Horrocks are determined to raise money for charity after their dad died from cancer only three weeks after being diagnosed.

They are walking the Great Wall of China in October and are taking part in local events to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

And tomorrow they are holding a a Striding Out for Pancreatic Cancer event at the London Colney Community Centre which will combine fun, money-raising activites with education about the disease.

Dave Martens, who was living in How Wood at the time of his death, died from pancreatic cancer last October following a protracted diagnosis process which initially put his symptoms down to an existing lung condition.

But only three weeks after the cancer was diagnosed he died on Louise’s 30th birthday.

After his death, his daughters took on the mantle of raising awareness of pancreatic cancer which has seen little improvement in outcomes in the last three decades.

It is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the UK but has one of the lowest survival rates with only one in 20 people diagnosed with it surviving five years or more.

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In addition, survival rates in the UK lag benind many other western countries.

Louise and Julie, who were brought up in London Colney, believe more can be done to protect families from the disease and the Striding Out for Pancreatic Cancer event is just one way of raising awareness of the condition and raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK at the same time.

Louise said, “We have a goal of raising £8,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK to continue their amazing work that supports those people affected by this devastating and overlooked disease.

“Our family was hit by pancreatic cancer less than a year ago. Its impact on my father was so sudden; we had no time to adjust to the situation.

“With improved awareness, diagnosis and management, people can have more time with those they love and that’s why we are striding out against the disease.”

Tomorrow’s event gets underway at 7pm and runs until midnight. it will include guest club DJs, raffles, auctions, a fun photobooth, a magician and catering from The Cinnamon Lounge in London Colney. It is open to all.

The sisters will be taking part in the five-day 65km trek across the Great Wall of China starting on October 27 – a year to the day after Dave died and on Louise’s birthday – and donations to their fundraising can be made at