Alan Henderson: Action Cancer Trekker Profile

06 November 2018

“I’d been for a health check on the Big Bus, it was a pleasant experience and very worthwhile so I know Action Cancer offers great services for people in Northern Ireland and I thought a trek would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So I signed up for Action Cancer’s Cuba Trek in 2013 and started trying to raise money for the charity. I didn’t think the trekking bug would get me but I’ve been on a trek with Action Cancer every year since!

“Before I signed up for the Cuba Trek, my only experience of fundraising was seeing people out on the streets with a bucket collecting money for charity so the fundraising target was a bit daunting at the start. But with support from friends and family as well as the Action Cancer Fundraising Team and a good old fashioned ‘stick-to-it’ attitude I was able to meet my target.”

Alan is currently trekking the Great Wall of China for Action Cancer and has already signed up to the charity’s 2019 Cambodia Trek to Angkor Wat. Often cited as the eighth wonder of the world, Angkor Wat is understandably a prominent feature on many bucket lists but the alluring destination is just one of many reasons why Alan signed up for the 2019 trek.

 “The treks themselves are a great challenge, they’ve helped me to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself both physically during the trek and emotionally through the process of fundraising. Fundraising has helped me build up a lot of resilience as you have to deal with some knock backs and disappointments and it’s also allowed me to raise money for a good cause and do something to help other local people.

“I actually wasn’t planning on going anywhere next year but I heard that a lot of other repeat trekkers for Action Cancer had signed up and I couldn’t let them have all the fun without me so I signed up too. I’ve a friend who did the Cambodia Trek a few years ago and said it was amazing. It is a country with a fascinating history and I’m looking forward to exploring the culture a bit more, seeing the wild life and sampling all the local food. 

“I think I’ve become more adventurous through Action Cancer treks. A few years back I did a parachute jump for the charity. It was a bit hairy but I would recommend it to anyone, it was the best adrenaline rush!”

To date Alan has raised an incredible £24,549 for Action Cancer. This money goes directly towards the delivery of Action Cancer’s detection, prevention and support services and annually helps to save and support 30,000 people across Northern Ireland.  Having witnessed the many benefits Action Cancer offers in the local community, Alan is keen to encourage others to pick up a collection bucket and lace up their walking boots all in aid of a great cause.

Just do it! You’ll have an incredible experience, make friends for life and it’s the best achievement knowing that your fundraising and your efforts have helped people at home who are suffering from cancer. It’s a great experience. There’s always a great group of people on the treks. Everyone is very supportive and positive. I make new friends every time I do a trek and I get to see places I’ve never seen before! I enjoy exploring different cultures and seeing how other people live. I’ve travelled to so many amazing destinations with Action Cancer and have a fantastic collection of memories to look back on.”

Action Cancer’s Cambodia Trek to Angkor Wat will take place from 16th – 24th November 2019. Over the course of 5 days participants will trek 94km concluding at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat. The registration is £200 with each participant required to raise a minimum of £3,800. For more information on this overseas trek, please visit Cambodia Trek, email [email protected] or call 028 9080 3349.