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Soldier gets walking for Karis
7:50am Saturday 16th June 2012 in News
A STANFORD-LE-HOPE man marched 65 miles for the Karis May Darling Foundation.
Luke Seeley, 26, an ex-soldier, wore a special rucksack weighing 55 kilos for the three day challenge, which saw him walk from Shoebury seafront to Buckingham Palace, in London, where he was once stationed in the Coldstream Guards.
Karis Darling, of Gardner Avenue, Corringham, was 12-years-old when she suddenly died from streptococcus A last April.
Her family donated her heart, liver, pancreas and kidneys to help save the lives of five others, and run a foundation in her memory supporting under privileged children in performing arts and sports.
Speaking after the first day of his challenge, which saw him walk 18 miles on Friday, Luke said: “It hasn’t been too bad today, as the wind has been behind me most of the way, “I’ve just got a bit of cramp in my leg.”
Luke, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, did not know Karis’s family before he decided to the challenge, but was inspired to help after reading about her story.
He said: “It’s a really good cause and I just wanted to do something to help, so I came up with the idea for the march.”
So far the ex-soldier, from Branksome Avenue, has raised around £500 for the foundation.
Karis’s parents Kerri and John were among the family and friends waiting to greet Luke at the top of One Tree Hill.
John said: “What Luke is doing is brilliant, it makes us so proud that even though Karis isn’t here anymore, people are doing these things in her memory.
“When he knocked on the door and said he wanted to do this it was fantastic.
“Karis would be so chuffed that someone like Luke, a role model, is doing this for her.”
If you would like to sponsor Luke, go online to www.bmy charity.com/marchforkaris For more information about Karis’ foundation, log on to www.karismaydarlingfoundation.org.uk