breakthrough rett uk challengers

I never set out to be a fundraiser - it just happened when a very personal need arose. That's how it is for everyone, surely?

Breakthrough Breast Cancer

1997: Because of a personal loss. (see Breakthrough page for details)

Rett Syndrome

2003: Totally unknown to most people, totally devastating for Lizzie, totally devastated us (see Rett Tea Party)


2004-2007: This umbrella charity supports research into disabilities due to Genetic disorders. Rett UK was one of 8 selected charities for the October appeals in 2005 and 2006, just a year following Lizzie's diagnosis. Lizzie's genetic mutation of MecP2 467 insertion C had a physical reality. These were dark and difficult early years for us. Getting involved through media campaigns and talking in schools about Lizzie was a way of preparing for what we could be up against. Research might just find an answer for Lizzie's long-term future. Just 2 years later that research funding started to bring tangible results with the discovery that the faulty MecP2 gene could be theoretically switched off. Lizzie's future, or certainly those who will follow her with a diagnosis of Rett Syndrome, could start to find a more predictable path.

Naomi House Hospice

2009-2013: Lizzie had her Gastrostomy Operation in May 2009, enabling her to be tube fed directly into her stomach. She became eligible to access overnight respite at this wonderful facility for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and complex health needs.  We were very fortunate to receive this precious service. I joined the Basingstoke volunteer fundraising team, helping with village fetes, bucket collections and an evening "Auction of Promises". As a beneficiary of the service I knew the value of what we were receiving, and was pleased to be able to thank donors and sponsors personally for the difference their contribution was making for families like ours.


2007 to date

Why I Run

How could I ever repay Challengers for their years of fabulous provision for Lizzie and their support for us? Challengers Staff and play-workers are passionate about what they do, and committed to the charity. The Challengers Fundraising team is brilliant. (Link to award)

The 20 pounds that we paid for Lizzie to attend a day at Challengers actually cost the charity 135 to run. The short-fall comes through fundraising. Energetic volunteers support the Challengers team with this mammoth undertaking.  As a long-term beneficiary of this extraordinary charity I would become a volunteer fundraiser.

A sponsored 5k run for Challengers in October 2015 at the Kelly's Cross Country event at Loseley Park, Surrey, was my only intention, so I joined my local gym (The Park in Hook) to get fit.    Supported by friends and family I completed the distance. Discovering Parkrun in Basingstoke I wondered could I go further? Kelly's 10k Trail for Challengers was successfully completed the following year. Interest was also growing within our village for a running club, and this was formed in April 2017. I'm delighted to say that now I run and train in the company of Hook Runners. In October 2017 I completed the Kelly's Half Marathon Trail at Loseley Park (I wasn't last!).

For me, running has only been about raising money for Challengers. This year I will be running the London Marathon for them via a Challengers Golden Ticket. The Hook Runners and coaches are supporting me, as are Challengers own Team Orange.
My motivation for running is to enable other children with disabilities to access the same wonderful support from Challengers that we have enjoyed, and to ensure that this crucial respite support will continue to be available to as many local families as possible well into the future.

Rett UK Jeans 4 Genes Naomi House Disability Challengers
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