15 August 2023

Walking the Camino de Santiago trail for Southampton

This summer, Marcus De Luca is walking 800km along the Camino de Santiago trail from France to Spain. In March he sadly lost his mum, Ros, to cancer.

It was her dream to walk the trail, so he’s doing the challenge on her behalf to raise money for Southampton Hospitals Charity.

“I live in West London, and work as a Partner for Heidrick & Struggles, headhunting for worldwide companies. I have three grown children over 20 years old and have always been close to my parents.

Sadly, we lost my dad 11 months ago before losing Ros, so it felt like the right time to take a break.

My mum spent most of her early life in London, and when she decided to leave London with her partner, David, she closed her eyes and stuck a pin in a map. This landed on Lymington and so she moved there over 25 years ago and stayed for the rest of her life!

She was always full of life and loved to do the unexpected. She was a beautiful woman with a big personality and sharp wit, always living life to the full.

Then in summer 2022, she was diagnosed with lung cancer at University Hospital Southampton, where she put up a brave and elegant fight against the disease.

Under Dr Fenton’s care, she begun radiography in September 2022, but by the New Year the cancer had spread to mum’s liver and brain, so she started immunotherapy to slow this down.

In early March, she contracted a chest infection and had to be admitted to the oncology unit where she passed away 10 days later.

I am heartbroken, but full of admiration for the doctors, nurses, and the entire staff at the oncology unit.  Throughout mum’s treatment they were professional, dedicated, and, above all, kind and compassionate.

The Camino de Santiago trail

It was mum’s dream to walk the Camino de Santiago trail, also known as the Way of St James, so I have decided to walk it on mum’s behalf.

Starting on 15 August, I will begin the 800km pilgrimage from France along the Camino Frances trail to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, completing it some five weeks later.

Mum leaves a proud legacy of love, a love that was, and shall forever be, unwavering and unconditional.

I wanted to do something that would make her proud, having already raised over £10,000 for Southampton Hospitals Charity and the oncology unit that did all they could for my mum.”

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