Hebburn couple determined not to miss out on charity walk – from 5,000 miles away

Sarah and Stephen ODoherty on their wedding day in Las Vegas two years ago - with an Elvis impersonator.
Sarah and Stephen ODoherty on their wedding day in Las Vegas two years ago - with an Elvis impersonator.
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A Hebburn couple on an anniversary trip to Las Vegas are today set to join their family on a charity walk – from more than 5,000 miles away.

Sarah and Stephen O’Doherty were determined to take part in this year’s Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk, which is taking place today in Bents Park, South Shields.

We’ll be wearing Memory Walk T-shirts and flying the flag for the Alzheimer’s Society on Las Vegas Boulevard

Sarah O’Doherty

The pair are celebrating their second wedding anniversary in Las Vegas, but will interrupt that to pay tribute to Sarah’s father Sean O’Neil, 56, from Jarrow, who is battling dementia.

They will join friends and family in spirit as they walk 14km up and down the neon city’s famous Strip.

British Airways worker Sarah, 30, said: “Stephen and I go to Las Vegas every year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I’m gutted that we’re missing the official walk as we’ve done it a few times now and it’s always great.

“But unfortunately we booked our trip before the Memory Walk date was announced, so we knew we had no alternative but to take the walk to Vegas with us.

“We’ll be wearing Memory Walk T-shirts and flying the flag for the Alzheimer’s Society on Las Vegas Boulevard – and we’ll be posting live videos and photos on Facebook.”

More than 4,500 people are set to take part in the Alzheimer’s Society’s official Memory Walk today – almost double the number from last year.

Former scaffolder Sean was diagnosed with dementia five years ago – and cut the ribbon to launch the region’s Memory Walk in 2012 in Saltwell Park, Gateshead.

Sarah said: “We’ve told dad what we’re doing and although he does have some understanding, he tends to have difficulty retaining the information. But my mam Rosemary will keep him up to date with our progress – she’s the rock of the family.”

Sarah and Stephen will begin their walk at 4pm UK time. Her Facebook and Instagram posts can be followed at #vegasmemorywalk

Donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/vegaswalk?utm_id=26