Vikki goes the extra mile for grandfather Mark

Devon Doctors Group employee Vikki Tiley, 31, walked a staggering 340,352 steps in aid of Prostate Cancer UK in the month of September. By our reckoning that is around 160 miles! Vikki joined Devon Doctors two and a half months ago as an HR administrator and we want to celebrate her achievement.

Mark, Vikki’s grandfather, has been under treatment for prostate cancer for the last six years and unfortunately more recently has been moved to palliative care. Retiring from his work as a scaffolder in his fifties, he has spent much of his retirement on his favourite pastime, gardening.

Vikki describes her grandfather: “He’s a proper traditionalist, a typical grandad. If there’s a story to tell, he’s already done it 1,000 times!” He enjoys DIY and as Vikki comments: “If he can fix it, he’ll fix it.”

It hasn’t always ended well and she says: “One time, he was on the roof of the shed and he fell off, because, well, he is in his eighties!”

Thankfully, he only suffered some bumps and bruises, but he remains active and although his gardening has slowed a little, he still sits outside potting his plants with a little help from the family.

Vikki had been following the Couch to 5K running plan when she injured a ligament in her leg which would stop her running for five months. Coincidentally, she noticed Prostate Cancer UK were publicising the March the Month campaign where supporters could walk 11,000 steps a day for a month to raise money for the charity. It suited her physio’s recovery advice to walk more and so, off she went.

She used to walk around 8,000 steps a day commuting to work and walking around the office, but the pandemic dramatically reduced this. Ever since the challenge, it has encouraged her to make sure she gets out for a good walk most days, whatever the weather.

Now, “I think: it’s just a bit of rain, off we go,” says Vikki. Most days of the challenge she had no route in mind and walked the streets of Heavitree, Exeter: “I saw streets that I never knew existed, even though I have lived here all my life.”

One in Eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK. Prostate Cancer UK fund lifesaving research to help people diagnosed with the disease now and for the future.

Vikki is already thinking about her next charity challenge: “Maybe I’ll do something next summer, when I really want to be outside!”

Find details of Vikki’s donation page here: https://marchthemonth.prostatecanceruk.org/fundraising/vikkis-march-the-month-challenge

Find more details about Prostate Cancer here: https://prostatecanceruk.org/