Reptile company owner set to walk Pier to Pier twice for charity

Arnie, the Albino Burmese Python, will be staying at home while his owner, Luke Tyler of RepTylers leads the Walking for Lives Challenge on Sunday, October 6. Pictured with him is, left to right, The Montefiore Hospital's senior staff nurse Julie Gore, Candice Konig, director of Forward Facing, and Julie's daughter, Jess.
Arnie, the Albino Burmese Python, will be staying at home while his owner, Luke Tyler of RepTylers leads the Walking for Lives Challenge on Sunday, October 6. Pictured with him is, left to right, The Montefiore Hospital's senior staff nurse Julie Gore, Candice Konig, director of Forward Facing, and Julie's daughter, Jess.

A group will defy poor health to walk between Brighton Palace Pier and Bognor Pier, raising money for two local causes along the way.

The pier to pier `Walking for Lives’ Challenge aims to boost funds for brain cancer research in support of local girl Lila Everest, five, who has a rare brain tumour.

Luke Tyler, 40, of Brighton, first met Lila when his reptile experience company, RepTylers, came to her school.

“As soon as I heard about Lila’s condition, I wanted to do something to help and, at the same time, support the amazing work of Forward Facing,” Luke said. Luke will be leading the walk despite his long-term back condition.

He will set off from the Palace Pier at 1am on Sunday October 6 and hopes to reach Bognor by 8.30am where he will be joined by a team of novice walkers for the return journey – a 60 mile round-trip for Luke.

He took part in the 2018 pier to pier walk but is doubling the length of the challenge this year.

Luke said: “On the return, I will be joined by some very special people who will be overcoming their own personal challenges to join me. I am hoping the people of Brighton will cheer us along the way.”

He has already raised over half of his £2,500 target via Just Giving.

The Challenge hopes to raise £4,000 which will also help the charity ‘Forward Facing’ to provide experiences for young people with life-threatening conditions, and support those who have experienced bereavement.

Among the 16 walkers taking part in the return journey is Julie Gore, a senior staff nurse at The Montefiore Hospital in Hove, and her two daughters, Tash and Jess.

The family have first-hand experience of Forward Facing’s work due to the poor health of Julie’s daughters.

Tash, 28, has a rare brain tumour and Jess, 26, was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

The charity has now been adopted by Montefiore Hospital.

“Tash was adamant she wanted to do this for the little girl Lila who is going through a similar experience,” says Julie. “I thought if she can do it with a brain tumour and Jess with Multiple Sclerosis, then I can’t let the team down. Together, we are determined to do as much of the 30 miles as we can.”

For the last two miles of the walk, they will be joined by families who have been supported by Forward Facing.

Children will hand out medals to finishers, who will arrive at Brighton Palace Pier around 6.30pm.

Luke’s just giving page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/forwardfacing-ltyler

Anyone wishing to join the walk can email Luke at info@reptylers.co.uk