Our sincere thanks to Julie for her continued support to us and here she shares her amazing fundraising trip with us, so hope you enjoy the read.
“ I recently travelled to Peru to take part in the Inca trail trek which is a challenging 4 day trek at high altitude. The trek was made in memory of my brotherAdam who died in March 2014 at the age of 26. My aim, was to raise funds for Hand and Heart and to have a defibrillator installed at the home of my sister and nieces; Pamela, Jessica and Francesca.
Adam and I in the past took part in many charity events to help raise funds for charity following the death of our nephew Jamie at the age of 10 months in 2006. Following Jamie’s death, close family members were diagnosed with Long QTSyndrome including Pamela, Jessica and Francesca (Jamie’s mum and sisters). Long QTSyndrome is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young otherwise healthy people.
On the day of the trip I left Manchester and after 30 hours of travelling and waiting for connections in London, Madrid and Lima, I finally arrived in Cusco to acclimatise prior to the trek.There I met the group I would be doing the trek with.
Cusco is about 3,400m above sea level and all of us at some point suffered symptoms of altitude sickness. The trek commenced on a Wednesday and we descended to the start of the Inca trail, after four hours of walking we finally set up camp at an altitude of 2,650m.
The following morning we gradually climbed and began what some found to be the most difficult part of the trek consisting of an abrupt and steep ascent stretching for 9km and reaching what is known as Dead Woman’s Pass. We achieved an altitude of 3,850m and the temperature dropped to around zero degrees.
Friday was the longest day as we continued to trek for 10 hours over Dead Woman’s Pass, reaching the highest point (4,215 m) and climbed a further two passes.
Due to the effects of the altitude, some of us were beginning to struggle and were glad when we started our descent. As we began to do this the rising temperatures seemed to soak up what little energy I had left and I almost fainted. Fortunately, I was able to continue after treatment. When we finally reached the end of the trail it was a very emotional moment and one I will never forget.
It was a walk to remember and for more reasons than one. I returned home delighted that I had not only completed the trek but had exceeded my fundraising target.”
From all the Hand on Heart team congratulations Julie and know that a number of schools will soon become Heart Safe thorough your efforts – well done .