WHEN champion ballroom dancer Alexandra Hixson’s mum Pam died of lung cancer in 2019, her best friend Louise Jones was right by her side.

Now the friends are putting their best foot forward in memory of Pam and in honor of Louise’s daughter Lana, who suffers from juvenile arthritis, needing frequent injections for the pain.

The pair, who have known each other since childhood, will be walking 311 miles to raise more than £5,000 in aid of four charities that have supported their loved ones.

Louise, 36, and Alex, 34, will set off from Blackpool Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens on Mother’s Day.

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They will complete their 25-mile-a-day trek 14 days later at The Piccadilly Ballroom in Bournemouth on April 9 - the day Alex’s mum passed away.

“My mum was always my number one supporter at every competition held in Blackpool, so it had to start there,” said Alex.

“The dates have a lot of significance. To throw into the mix it’s also my mum’s birthday in those two weeks, so I know it’s going to be hard, but I couldn’t think of a better way to cope with it and be with my best friend, who was so incredible in those times.

“When my mum was going through palliative care, it was the first time I’ve had to care for somebody. As difficult as it was to watch, I will never forget my mum’s strength. When I want to give up on the walk, I will think of those final days I had with my mum and I will draw on her strength.”

Louise said: “Pam is certainly our inspiration, she was like a second mum to me.”

“It's also coming up to six years since Lana was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Uveitis when she was three.

“For about a year she would scream, cry, turn purple and throw up, because she was in so much pain with her legs. I took her to the doctors over and over again and each time it was passed off as growing pains.

“Eventually we were told it was arthritis.

“We’ve had a long battle trying to get her life back from there to something more normal. Now she has hit the incredible milestone of remission, I wanted to do something huge for both her hospital team and CCAA (Children's Chronic Arthritis Association).”

They are raising money for the Wessex Cancer Trust, the Roy Castle Foundation, CCAA and Southampton Hospital Charity.

So far they have raised £1,380. To donate visit https://sponsorme.co.uk/louisejones/holy-walkamole.aspx or their 'Holy Walkamole' Facebook page.