A DENTAL hygienist has completed a 500-mile walk from Scotland to Hove for charity.
Christina Chatfield has embarked on the mammoth trek to raise money and awareness of mouth cancer and the HPV virus.
Ms Chatfield suffered from shin splints throughout the journey but the thought of quitting never once entered her mind.
During difficult times in her walk, Ms Chatfield sought advice from her son in the army and drew inspiration from her mother.
She said: “You just think of the things that make you do what you do.
“My friends that know me have said that you’re going to be like Forrest Gump and you’ll be walking by tomorrow.”
Ms Chatfield began the walk in her hometown of Kirriemuir in Scotland on May 19 and finished in Hove exactly a month later.
The 500 Miles for Smiles walk has currently raised more than £5,000 for the British Dental Health Foundation, Your Smile and Mouth Cancer Action Month to help early detection of mouth cancer.
Ms Chatfield is the owner of the Dental Health Spa on Queens Road in Brighton, so she is very passionate about the oral health of people in the community.
Brian Fitch, Mayor of Brighton and Hove, was one of many spectators at The Big Beach Cafe in Hove to cheer Ms Chatfield over the finish line.
He said: “It’s unbelievable, 500 miles shows her commitment and dedication and she deserves the welcome the city has given her.”
Mouth cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the UK and 80% of people will contract the UPV virus in their lifetime.
Girls are currently vaccinated but boys are not and Ms Chatfield is hoping that the money raised on her walk can go towards changing this.
She said: “The work doesn’t stop here, it’s all about the legacy we leave.
“The vaccinations will help the next generation but we still need to educate the current generation about the dangers of the HPV virus.”
For more information, visit www.500miles4smiles.org.