Attempt to climb highest peaks in the United Kingdom and Ireland
A man from Billericay is training for a five peaks challenge to help save the life of seven-year-old girl Thufa, who has a life threatening blood disorder.
Ian Wallsh, 48, is trekking the five peaks challenge with 10 others over the course of four or five days at the beginning of May. The trek is across the highest peaks in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Ian said: “When I was in my 20’s I completed the three peaks challenge but I’m a bit older now so I think the five peaks challenge will be a lot tougher.
“When my friend Irfaan, told me about Thufa’s story I wanted to help. It’s a very sad story as Sri – Lanka has a very long waitlist for specialist care.”
Irfaan’s cousin’s daughter, Thufa, who lives in Sri-Lanka, has suffered from a hereditary blood disorder known as Thalassemia major since birth. This is a crippling disease with debilitating symptoms that can be fatal within 10 years of a child’s life. Thufa is seven years old so this outcome is looking more and more likely.
The only cure is a bone marrow transplant, which is not available in Sri-Lanka so she will need to be transferred to a specialist clinic in India, where they offer the procedure at a cost of over £60,500.
The group will be travelling by minibus and ferries and staying in hostels during their challenge.
Ian continued: “We’ve been taking training walks across the various hiking routes around Surrey and Sussex as a team including the South Downs and North Downs Way. I’m now walking longer distances every other day around some of the areas of picturesque Essex including Danbury and Stock.
“Along with training we’ve used the hikes as an opportunity to talk to people about what we’re doing and potentially raising more funds and awareness.
“The sum total for Thufa’s operation is only achievable if we work together, so any help that can be offered, whether it be donations or sharing the message with others or any other fundraising ideas will get us that much closer to ensuring a normal life for her and her family. Please join our cause and help us save a life.”
If you would like more information or to donate visit Thufa’s Just-Giving page is https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thufa.