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Why I’m trekking Snowdon in June

Why I’m trekking Snowdon in June

Just under three weeks now until I’ll be trekking Snowdon. Eek! Erm.... Eeeeek!

My Just Giving page for Pilgrims Hospice: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clarethereef1

My Just Giving page for Alzheimer’s Society: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clarethereef

So, why am I doing Snowdon?

I’ve been asked a few times, and there are a few reasons...

I was born with a rare condition, called localised fibrous dysplasia and congenital pseudarthrosis, of the right tibia bone. It’s so rare that it took the doctors a while to figure out what it was, and my parents went through some other scarier suggestions of what it could be before it was finally diagnosed. I was then sent to a specialist surgeon in Surrey. What this condition basically means, is that the bone crumbles and breaks, and doesn’t heal. So I had a few operations when I was young, such as having a battery in at one point (I still have that hanging around somewhere!) and having a bone taken out of my hip and put into my leg, along with a steel pin to keep it together. I spent Christmas time in hospital one year (claim to fame is meeting Santa. Yep!), and even attended a few hospital school classes (heaps of fun as I mostly played with magnet toy people on a stage). 

Because of this, my earlier years growing up I was mostly on crutches, with a plaster, or a plastic supporting brace. My leg and foot couldn’t grow as much, so I have about 2 sizes between my feet and a skinnier looking leg on that side. The pin that was put into my leg was supposed to grow out and it was suggested I’d maybe have another operation to put another pin in when I was older. The pin never did grow out from my ankle, meaning I don’t have full movement of my ankle (super high heels are but a dream), and the pin was quickly cemented into the bone. 

I wasn’t allowed to do PE at school, and had to sit on the bench and watch. I always had to be careful, others around me obviously worried about my more fragile leg, and I guess I grew up thinking I couldn’t do a lot of things. Thinking that I couldn’t walk too far, and if I did I would notice it start to swell and play up, leaving me in pain, so I never pushed it further and just accepted that I couldn’t.  

As I got into my thirties, I started to enjoy walking more and being outside more, and after challenging times, being out in nature became my therapy. It’s now a part of my routine self care that realigns me and keeps me balanced and sane!

I began to push myself more and more by walking more, and further. By attending yoga classes which I found helped to strengthen that side more, and allow me a better balance. I also tried to be more conscious of not leaning my weight onto my left side, because that was safe and comfortable. 

As I got into walking more, I heard stories of people doing long walks or climbing mountains and thought I’d love to do it, but would never be able to do such a thing. And I kind of parked that there for a while. However, the more I worked on mindset (watched the film ‘Wild’ over and over) and pushed myself, the more I thought... well, why the hell not?! People with far worse limits achieve way more than that, I was just listening to an old story of mine. Yet, of course, and quite naturally, the fear was still there. I worried if I could complete it, I worried about holding anyone else back. 

When January 2019 appeared, the thought again popped into my mind how it would be so much fun to try and do. This thought seemed to come with the realisation that 2019 will be 10 years since a close friend of mine, Marie, passed away. A friend who was sadly ill with a brain tumour and breast cancer for a few years before she passed. A friend who was always smiling (seriously, you haven’t heard a dirty, infectious giggle like it), and always pushing herself. Marie was making me eat her dust as she pushed herself with her speed at that race for life in 2008, whilst going through chemotherapy. She went on stealth at Thorpe Park alone (I know, but seriously there was no stopping this girl) because I was too chicken to join her! How could I not just jump in and push myself to do Snowdon, push past my fears and give it a good go. I had to do it, in memory of Marie. 

So, I hit the internet and looked for companies who I could do Snowdon with. If you know me well, you’ll know I have the worst sense of direction and if I didn’t sign up with a company, I’d more than likely be lost on a mountain!!  

I found the Alzheimer’s Society we’re doing it. Perfect! My gran now suffers badly with Alzheimer’s. Her daily life now is having carers come into her home, using crazy lifting contraptions to get her out of bed in the morning to then sit in an armchair for the day. They return later to put her to bed. She is often confused and brings up memories from her youth. Yet, you start signing ‘Daisy, daisy’ and she’ll instantly continue, singing away. So this charity couldn’t have been more perfect for me.

So, I’ll be raising money for the Pilgrims Hospice, who looked after Marie so well, and for the Alzheimer’s Society, for my gran, Margaret (aka Mags, to my grandad).  

After signing up, I put it out to others and have a lovely friend, Sarah, joining me on the day. I’m also really looking forward to meeting others on the trek and hearing their stories. 

So, these my reasons for my upcoming Snowdon venture. I’ll share my journey and experience and can only appreciate any small and kind donations that would be gratefully received.    

My Just Giving page for Pilgrims Hospice: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clarethereef1

My Just Giving page for Alzheimer’s Society: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clarethereef

Thank you so much for your support and for reading my story!

With love,

Clare  x

I wish I had two 'normal' legs, but I don't

I wish I had two 'normal' legs, but I don't