Two friends, who met on a hospital ward while both recovering from a brain haemorrhage, will celebrate their special connection when they take on the Great Hospital Hike this September.
On 18 September 2021, Julie Hulme and Justine Roddan will be going the extra mile for King's when they take on the inaugural Great Hospital Hike; a scenic 17 mile trail from King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill to the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley.
Justine and Julie met on Kinea Wilson Ward at King’s in 2018. Julie had fallen ill whilst on holiday in Japan and had been admitted to the neurology ward on her return. Justine had been transferred to the ward after undergoing life-saving surgery and spending days in the hospital’s Critical Care and High Dependency units.
“By the time I met Julie I was much better," says Justine. "I still couldn’t use my right side at all and she used to help me do things like butter my toast.”
“That’s how our friendship started. We joke about that a lot. We now meet regularly, and we support each other as we continue our recovery,” says Julie, who lives in Stockwell, south London.
The pair have found that walking has really helped with their rehabilitation, so when Justine heard about the Great Hospital Hike, she and Julie had no hesitation about signing up to do the fundraising event together.
“The hike is a perfect way for me and my family to give something back for the amazing care and support that we received from all the staff when I was an in-patient at King’s,” says Justine.
“Staff are still on hand to offer support whenever Julie and I need it – people like the vascular nurses who are absolutely brilliant. You can ring them at any time, and they will allay your fears or get you into clinic if they need to.”
“They’re absolutely lovely and amazingly knowledgeable and their role is so important,” agrees Julie.
“They are my unsung heroes and the hike gives Justine and I an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for everything that they and their colleagues do.”
The friends have been walking together in readiness for the Great Hospital Hike and they are urging others to sign up too.
“It’s a great way for people to show their support for all the hospital staff and the amazing work that they do – and the route takes you through some beautiful parks and green spaces,” says Justine.
“It will be a challenge but, knowing us, we’ll probably end up chatting for the whole of the 17 miles!”
“I love walking,” says Julie. “And I can’t think of a better way to mark the latest stage of us getting better.”
The Great Hospital Hike: 18 September 2021
Walk with us and raise vital funds for our hospitals as we discover the breathtaking scenery, iconic landmarks, heritage sites and hidden gems in the heart of our local communities.
Our NHS staff have done so much for us all this year, will you join us now to recognise their efforts and go the extra mile for them?