Piers Tabor (B1 2014-19) takes on trek fundraiser

On Friday 26th June, Piers Tabor (B1 2014-19) and his friend Harry Vyvyan-Robinson started a trek from their homes in Gloucestershire all the way to Scotland. The trek is in memory of Simon Kverndal, father of Finn (C1 2014-19) and Thor (C1 2001-16), who died on 14th June 2020.

Harry’s mother, Lizzie, wrote to us to tell us about the trek.

“The boys aged 19, were adamant that they weren’t going to let “Corona Hell” get to them and were keen to use their time wisely. Harry has just finished his 1st year at St Andrews and Piers, who was at school with Finn, has just finished his gap year. He is looking forward to heading off to Exeter in September. They both managed to get a few paid labouring jobs for as long as they could, but the pub jobs they had lined up were non-starters due to COVID-19 restrictions in place. Keen walkers, they felt that this was the ideal opportunity to go walking in England, wild camping initially, until the restrictions were lifted on 6th July.

Initially their walk wasn’t going to be a fundraiser, however they then heard the news that their close friend, and school mate of Piers, Finn Kverndal, had lost his father, Simon, to colon and lung cancer. They quickly “geared up” and got a Go Fund Me Page going. At the time of writing they have almost hit the £10k barrier.

They started their walk from Compton Abdale in Glos on Friday 26th June and aim to reach Edinburgh on Sunday 26th July. What was nice was that Finn and some of his friends travelled to Buxton on Saturday 6th July so that they could walk a chunk of the Pennine Way with Harry and Piers on the Sunday. This was fantastic on all levels – the boys hadn’t see each other since Simon had died and it also gave Finn a night away from home to gather his thoughts before the funeral on Wednesday.

They are raising funds for 3 charities:
The Royal Marsden Hospital
The Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme
40tude – Colon Cancer Charity

Initially 40tude wasn’t on the list, however Sophie, Simon’s widow, mentioned to me on several occasions that she wished that Simon had got checked out sooner and had a colonoscopy when he realised that “things weren’t quite right” and had he done so, that he would be here today. She is on a mission to raise awareness of the disease and the importance of detecting early signs/colonoscopies. “If in doubt, get it checked out”. Unfortunately for Simon, time was not on his side and his cancer spread to his lungs, which eventually proved fatal.

I have to say that as a mother of 3 children, I am very impressed by the boys’ get up and go. To walk 430 miles whilst a global pandemic is taking place is quite an achievement, particularly when so many teenagers are unfortunately not doing that much apart from playing computer games. I think that this a good news story, obviously with a very sad backstory, but Sophie is very much hoping that some good will come out of her loss. Also with the pandemic in full flow, I know that practically all medical screening, cancer treatments and other terminal illness treatments were all put on hold; we now have a desperate ticking time bomb on our hands with so many undiscovered illnesses, in particular Colon Cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer – all very treatable if caught early.”

Please do have a look at the Go Fund Me page for more information about the walk and the chosen charities and to donate.

For further information about bowel cancer and its symptoms, click here.

Please do follow our progress via Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/piersandharrytrektoscotland/

A tribute to Simon by Mr Michael Howard QC a close friend, was published on the Quadrant Chambers website.