Mum joining Sheffield ‘pram man’ to walk for Jacqueline

Ann Clark.
Ann Clark.
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Ann Clark will be among hundreds of people stepping out with Sheffield’s own ‘mad pram man’ John Burkhill later this month – in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for cancer care.

John, aged 73, from Richmond, has spent years walking the streets of Sheffield with his trademark fundraising pram, wearing his distinctive green wig.

He has raised more than £150,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, after his wife and daughter both died.

Now he is asking other people to join him – and on Sunday, June 17, he will lead a sponsored walk from Don Valley Stadium.

John’s mission is something Ann can identify with.

Five years ago Ann’s daughter, Jacqueline Sawdon, from Nether Edge, lost her battle with ovarian cancer aged just 45.

She left behind three children – Jamie, 24, Matthew, 23, and Emma, 20 – who Ann supported after their mum’s death.

Ann, 70, from Dinnington, said: “John is great. I’ve seen him walking all over Sheffield.

“Everyone knows what he stands for and they gladly donate. He is an inspiration and I’m really looking forward to joining him.”

She added: “From the very beginning Macmillan were very caring and supportive of Jacky and the rest of our family.

“They took all the pressure away.

“To know somebody was always there, if we needed it, was so important.”

When Jacqueline was diagnosed with cancer she had to give up her job as a school teacher – and money worries made an already stressful time even more difficult for the family.

Jacqueline was put in touch with a Macmillan benefits adviser, who helped her access benefits she had not previously been able to claim.

Macmillan also gave counselling and advice to her children and family, as they tried to come to terms with what was happening.

The charity also gave Jacqueline a grant of £500 so she could enjoy what turned out to be her last Christmas with her children.

Ann said: “Macmillan made what would have been a miserable Christmas a much happier one, putting some enjoyment into the last few months of Jacky’s life, which means absolutely everything to me and the children.

“It’s something we will always remember and be thankful for.”

n To register for the June 17 walk, and join Ann and John, visit macmillan.org.uk/sheffieldwalk or call 0300 1000200.