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Bermondsey dad takes on 50km charity walk for hospice who cared for late six-year-old son

A Bermondsey dad has walked 50km to raise over £1,200 for the hospice that cared for his late six-year-old son, who died on January 9.

Little Archie Marshall was unable to see or move, and suffered from epilepsy before he died. He had suffered for his entire life from Deletion 14 Q12, a rare syndrome caused by a missing chromosome which stunts growth and restricts mobility and vision.

On Saturday his dad Dean, 31, took part in the charity walk, organised by the Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

After the marathon walk, Dean told the News: “I’m in a lot of pain but it was definitely worth it – 100 times over.

“I just imagined Archie was walking and holding my hand with me, and if I needed cry I would look up at the sky.

“I want to do it every year if I can. We just can’t thank Demelza enough for the care they gave us and to Archie.”

Dean was joined by his brother-in-law Jason Cartwright and more than 70 other walkers on the trek between the hospice’s two centres in Sittingbourne and Eltham.

His partner, Aine Green, 41, said: “I’m unbelievably proud of Dean for doing 35 miles in one day. It’s nice to give something back because the hospice helped so much.

“They’re an independent charity, and they go on donations alone. We want to make sure that any other family who goes what we had to go through would be able to get the same level of respite care as we did.”

The couple now live in Ladywell, Lewisham, with Archie’s brother and two sisters: Alex, Annie and Neve.

Before the tragic loss of Archie, who Aine said was “always smiling and laughing”, the family lived in Bermondsey. Towards the end of Archie’s life they were moved into specially-adapted accommodation in Nunhead. “Since Archie died we have had to move around a lot,” Aine said. “But we’re still Bermondsey. All our family are there and Dean still works close to Surrey Quays.”

To make a donation on Dean’s fundraising page, visit:

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dean-Marshall233

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