Joanna Mcnamara is a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, teaching radiotherapy and oncology, and as a therapeutic radiographer, regularly treats cancer patients with radiotherapy.
She also runs a podcast, ‘Rad chat’, all about cancer and radiotherapy, and after inviting a guest on from a cancer charity named CoppaFeel, Joanna learnt of all the amazing work the charity does and immediately wanted to get involved.
"I started to think about the role I have at university, sort of promoting self-checking with our students, putting up CoppaFeel posters in the showers,” said Joanna. "It felt like a natural progression to think I’m always up for a charity challenge.”
This is what led Joanna to get involved in the CoppaFeel charity trek, which will see her and other trekkers walk 100km across five days along the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales in a bid to raise money for the cancer charity.
"I work four days a week and on a Friday I do lots of charity work, so as a result of post-Covid, I thought it would be good to do something that is physically active and gets me out and about – so the trek was the perfect way to essentially get some physical activity and also raise money for a great cause.”
Despite there being over a thousand applicants for the trek, Joanna was selected and will now be participating in the long but rewarding trek along the coast.
Now in preparation, Joanna has just began training for the trek and has begun fundraising, in which she hopes to raise £2,500 for the cancer charity CoppaFeel.
"It is quite undulating, but living in Sheffield gives me a definite advantage, I live on the Sheffield border to the Peak District so I am quite lucky to be able to walk and train there.
"I also have a very hyper and physically active ten-year-old so he is coming with me on lots of hiking walks. We also have a labrador, so I’m just trying to get out as much as possible.”
The trek will see Joanna and 100 hundred other trekkers walk 20km each day for five days in what will be a tough and long challenge, but one that will see great reward with fundraising for a brilliant cause.
"This is the biggest goal I have ever set myself so I am definitely feeling the pressure.”
CoppaFeel, which specialise in breast cancer, is a charity aiming to raise awareness among young people and install a new healthy habit that could save lives – ensuring everyone completes self-examination checks and educate people on the signs and symptoms of cancer.
So far, Joanna has raised £150, and has targeted to raise £2,500 for a charity she feels is a brilliant cause.
The Pembrokeshire trek Joanna will be participating in begins on June 11 and you can donate to her justgiving page here.