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Pair to complete 120-mile hike in memory of dad with 'heart of gold' who lost Covid battle
Middlesbrough HospicePress ReleasesFundraising News

Pair to complete 120-mile hike in memory of dad with 'heart of gold' who lost Covid battle

Published date: 20 April 2022

Pair to complete 120-mile hike in memory of dad with 'heart of gold' who lost Covid battle

A brother and friend of a Stockton dad who tragically passed away from covid-19 are fundraising in his memory by completing a sponsored walk to Blackpool.

Andrew Killeen passed away on August 10 aged just 34. He had delayed his COVID vaccine appointment to donate blood, he then tested positive for coronavirus and spent three weeks in North Tees Hospital's ICU.

Originally from Blackpool, Andrew moved to Teesside as a child but still always followed his beloved Blackpool FC. Brother Josh Heeney and friend Sanjeev Chahal will be walking 120 miles from Andrew's family home to Blackpool's Bloomfield Road, to raise money for local children's charities and keep Andrew's memory alive.

Sanjeev spoke about his friendship with Andrew and the mammoth four-day walking challenge ahead. Sanjeev said: "I'd originally been a colleague of Andrew's and then we became great friends outside of work, he was an incredibly selfless person and was never ashamed to be himself.

"He was a huge Blackpool fan so we'd always banter on about football, even though he lived in Stockton he followed Blackpool as much as he could so we thought it would be great to honour him by making the journey back to his hometown. It was my idea originally to complete the walk to remember Andrew.

"I've been training around Teesside and Josh has been training in Blackpool. We set off from Laura and Andrew's home on April 27, making it to Blackpool on April 30 in time for the team's final home game of the season."

The charities Josh and Sanjeev are fundraising for are Zoe's Place, in Middlesbrough, and Brian House, in Blackpool - two hospices which care for young children and babies. Both charities were selected by the Laura and Andrew's children - Niamh and Aisling.

Laura has also completed some fundraising in memory of her husband. Last year, she raised money for the ICU nurses at North Tees who 'fought so hard' to bring Andrew home to their family, where the money that would've been used on funeral flowers instead went towards new facilities for the staff room as well as the biscuit and cake room for the nurses.

Andrew's brother Josh has already completed the Manchester Marathon on April 3, and wrote on his Go Fund Me Page about his brother: "There aren't sufficient words to articulate the deep sense of loss that our family are feeling. Whilst we come to terms with the everyday griefs it's been important to me to have a way to memorialize Andrew and honour his charitable and giving nature."

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