Costa del Sol retired doctor epic journey: walking to beat ovarian cancer

Steve Eckersall, a now-retired British doctor, decided to embark on a unique pilgrimage to raise awareness on ovarian cancer. Now living on the Costa del Sol, Steve is walking across the whole country of Spain to get funds for ovarian cancer research. The adrenaline-driven 65-year-old has taken on the challenge of walking the Camino de Standing. Covering a total of 780 kilometers, Steve does it in memory of his wife, Siobhan who was a victim of ovarian cancer at the age of 58. He lost his beloved wife earlier this year and thought he should raise awareness about the cause of her death and also help research the disease.

In 2020, Steve moved to Alhaurín with his wife Siobhan to enjoy their retirement together. However, in 2023, his wife was sadly diagnosed with ovarian cancer, shattering their dream. Although they did all that they could have done by having her undergo surgery and chemotherapy, she did not win the battle.  Five months after her diagnosis, she tragically passed away, leaving Steve heartbroken.

However, his grief did not stop him from taking actions to help reduce victims of ovarian cancer. So he organised this pilgrimage, starting from St. Jean Pied de Port, France, all the way to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. His  friend John Apps also decided to join him on his noble quest, earning him the title of “a mountain goat.” This title comes both from his level of endurance during this pilgrimage but also from how supportive he is overall.

Sharing his motivation

Steve recently had an interview with SUR in English where he shared his motivation for this noble act. Steve shares that he is raising funds in loving memory of his wife, who died of ovarian cancer in February. He is calling a walk a hope because he hopes that other victims of ovarian cancer can be cured. He wishes for others to not experience the same type of suffering he and his wife, Siobhan, did. Besides his intention of raising funds, Steve is also set on spreading awareness about ovarian cancer. Unlike breast cancer, ovarian cancer is more threatening as it doesn’t benefit from effective screening programs.

To gain more support, he made a GoFundMe page and called it the Walk of Hope for Siobhan. The GoFundMe gained many great responses, both from his friends and locals in Alhaurín. Steve shared how he considers himself as overweight so he has been training daily by taking long walks. Steve’s determination is truly inspiring to locals.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *