A walk in the country is a fine thing, especially when you can enjoy it with others and it’s all in a good cause. North Cyprus in springtime is the ideal location, as the weather warms and wildflowers dot the tracks and roadside verges with nature’s paintbox.
It’s one reason why the annual Orchid Walk is so popular. Hundreds take part every year, many coming from the UK, to raise funds for KAV, a charity for cancer research.
This week the Walk celebrated its 20th anniversary at a new location, the Alevkaya Forest on the central plain. Supporters of all ages took on a circular route in intermittent sunshine. Some ran, most strolled and some took the easy way, sitting in pushchairs while parents did the hard work. Thankfully, there was free coffee and snacks to look forward to at the finish point in the village square.
KAV is led by Turkish Cypriot Professor Mustafa Djamgoz, whose research at Imperial College, London, has made him one of the world’s leading experts on metastasis, how cancer spreads through the body. The Professor and his team, backed by the Cyprus İnternational University of Lefkoşa, are pioneering a new drug, which, it is hoped, will halt malignant growths and allow many people to live with cancer as a treatable condition.
Prof. Djamgoz is hoping to win worldwide approval for his drug through the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, where it is undergoing validation.
He said: “It is an exciting time and we are very hopeful. This could be a real game changer, allowing cancer sufferers to treat their disease like other chronic conditions and live longer. The Orchid Walk has been a great fundraiser over the years and we look forward to our 21st next time.”