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Cromer councillor hikes for disease research after husband’s heart attack

PUBLISHED: 09:41 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:09 01 October 2018

Hilary Cox, third from right, and supporters, shortly before heading off on the 250-mile Hike for Hearts from Cromer Pier. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Hilary Cox, third from right, and supporters, shortly before heading off on the 250-mile Hike for Hearts from Cromer Pier. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

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A Cromer district councillor and MBE has taken off on a 250-mile walk in support of a heart disease charity five years after her husband survived a heart attack.

Hilary Cox shortly before heading off on the 250-mile Hike for Hearts from Cromer Pier. Picture: STUART ANDERSONHilary Cox shortly before heading off on the 250-mile Hike for Hearts from Cromer Pier. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Hilary Cox, who is also chairman of the Walkers are Welcome Cromer group, set off from the town’s pier at 11am on Sunday.

Her 250-mile ‘Hike for Hearts’ will take her across the Norfolk trails network, on foot and by bike from Breckland to Bungay, and raise awareness and funds for the British Heart Foundation’s fight against heart disease.

And Mrs Cox, who is a North Norfolk district councillor for Cromer, spoke of her deeply personal motivation for taking on the challenge.

She said: “My husband had a heart attack five years ago.

Hilary Cox, far right, and supporters, shortly before heading off on the 250-mile Hike for Hearts from Cromer Pier. Picture: STUART ANDERSONHilary Cox, far right, and supporters, shortly before heading off on the 250-mile Hike for Hearts from Cromer Pier. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

“He was rushed to hospital where he was successfully treated, and thankfully has been fine ever since.

“Anything we can do to help with the research is good.

“It’s not just heart attacks, as things like diabetes put a strain on the heart as well.

“He’s had five years of life that he almost didn’t have. Let’s hope he has a few more.”

Hilary Cox, MBE, is setting off on a 250 mile walk from Cromer pier on Sunday. Photo: BHFHilary Cox, MBE, is setting off on a 250 mile walk from Cromer pier on Sunday. Photo: BHF

Mrs Cox’s hike will see her visit the British Heart Foundation’s charity shops across the county, from Sheringham to Beccles.

“I am extremely nervous,” she admitted.

“Mentally I’m ready and looking forward to the challenge, but ten days of walking and cycling will be draining.

“I’m staying in a youth hostel one night, and in bed and breakfasts for others, as well as having friends put me up.”

And for the last leg of her hike, Mrs Cox will be joined by members of the Walkers Are Welcome walking group from across the country, as they arrive in north Norfolk for this year’s annual general meeting (AGM).

She said: “I definitely plan on finishing and I hope to finish on Wednesday, October 10, in time for our AGM.

“I’ll be joined during the last leg by some of our members, some of whom are staying in Cromer for a week to attend the meeting.”

The AGM will be held on Friday, September 12, and Saturday, October 13, at NNDC’s offices, and attendees will be offered a taste of Cromer, with geology and coastal walks and meals at the Cliftonville and Bann Thai on offer.

To sponsor Mrs Cox, visit her JustGiving page.

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