Tatiana’s Gambol #2 – Raising Money for Children With Cancer UK

GTA-GR5/52 Lac Leman to the Med | 650 Kms | 39,000m of ascent | AQAP

Grit: the power of passion and perseverance in the face of adversity.”   

Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth,  Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

In 2015 my niece (my sister’s only child), Tatiana Stankovic-Davis, was diagnosed with bladder cancer and successfully treated with chemotherapy. Unfortunately, in early February 2017 the cancer returned in the form of leukaemia, triggered, ironically, by the chemotherapy. After a valiant eight month battle she died on 23rd of August last year. She was only thirteen-and-a-half.

Driven by a passion for Lego and despite her condition she managed to raise over £17,000 from her Bristol hospital bed for Fairy Bricks, a charity that provides Lego for children in hospitals and hospices. This remarkable and inspiring achievement earned her recognition by the city of Bristol. She was also posthumously honoured in May 2018 by Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, with the Points of Light award for her grit and determination.


2019.  Tatiana’s Gambol #2. Starting on 3 August this year I am re-doing the same route, the Grande Traversée des Alpes part of the GR5/52, as last year, but with a some key differences.  I am doing it: solo; with a tent and sleeping bag; minimising on hard accommodation to ward off the corrupting influence of comfort, and as quickly as possible.

2018.  Tatiana’s Gambol #1. In August and September 2018 I and a hiking companion called Richard Villar (a world-renowned knee surgeon and former UK Special Forces doctor) trekked the Grande Randonnée 5 and 52 route from St. Gingolph on the southern shore of Lake Geneva over the French Alps down to Menton on the Mediterranean. My aim was to raise awareness of and money for Children With Cancer UK. It’s Britain’s leading children’s cancer charity and has two aims: to improve survival rates and quality of survival in young cancer patients; and to find and reduce the causes of cancer. We were joined by two fellow hikers in Ceillac and together we successfully completed the trek. Described as one of the world’s most spectacular long-distance trails, the classic GR5/52 route is approximately 500 miles long and involves over 130,000’ (39,000m) of ascent. We started on 6th August and finished on 11th September.  Here’s how we got on:

Miloš Stanković MBE MCIArb (Mediation)

I hope you can share this experience through this blog and will help me raise money for this worthy charity.

Follow my progress along the GR5….