Nick's 200km four day walk challenge for MATCHIS!Nick Rogers
Did you know that stem cell donations have the greatest chance of success when taken from healthy adults between 18 - 35 years old? Me neither! - until I saw an explainer by Matchis - The Dutch Centre for Stem Cell Donors.
Realising I was still (just about!) in my prime years, I registered as a stem cell donor via Matchis. This means that any time until I'm 55, in the 1 in 50,000 chance of a positive match, Matchis will call me up to give someone the means to fight blood cancer.
It costs Matchis €35 to register a new stem cell donor and private donations are essential to finance this. Therefore, to help support Matchis and the excellent work they do, I have registered for the 2023 4Daagse (Four Days Marches)!
The 4Daagse is an annual 200km (for young adult males) walk taking place across the Dutch province of Gelderland over four consecutive days (18-21 July 2023). 47,000 military and private individuals will take part, joined by an amazing 1.5 million spectators. First taking place in 1909, completion is rewarded with an officially recognised Dutch decorative medal that Dutch soldiers can wear on their uniforms!
With 775 British army personnel taking participating in 2019, the 4Daagse started out and retains a military character. As the location of both the 4Daagse and Operation Market Garden in 1944, Gelderland has an especially important place in my heart. Two of my ancestors - my great grandfather B.W Bartholomew and great uncle Jim Burke - fought and died during Operation Market Garden and today are buried in Gelderland. I will therefore also be walking in their memory.