Just over five years ago, Travel Weekly reported on Mia Austin, a 21 year old Co-op travel agent, who after suffering a stroke was left suffering from a rare condition known as Locked-in Syndrome. Mia's life changed instantly, and donations from the Abta Benevolent Fund have made a real difference to helping her.
In situations such as this, there is no quick or easy road to recovery, something highlighted to me by a recent trip to the Martha Trust care home in Hastings. The 12 residents of the home had been born paralsyed and unable to communicate, and now aged 18+ were reliant on financial donations to maintain their care - something we were able to help with through the Lord Taverners charity at the 2014 Travel Industry Hall of Fame.
It utterly humbled me, so when Abta Lifeline asked me to support Mia, I couldn't have been prouder to accept.
So, in September I’m taking on a challenge titled Man Vs. Mountain, it’s a 20mile race starting in Caernarfon Castle and finishing in Llanberis, with the small matter of ascending Mount Snowdon in the middle. Apparently it gets a little 'hilly'.
On the way I’ll be taking on ‘the vertical-kilometre’ which pretty much speaks for itself, an abseil, plus various other obstacles on land and water including swimming across a lake.
I'm running a Mountain for Mia, and if you can find a way to support me you'll be making a huge difference to someone who still very much needs the help of the travel industry and beyond.
The Abta Benevolent Fund will match every £1 you sponor me, up to £3,000. So if I can achieve my target of £3,000 we'll be able to contribute £6,000 to a really worthy cause.