I've visited the Yorkshire Dales for years and have always looked at the 3 mountains of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside thinking that I might like to walk them at some point (perhaps one mountain each time we visited!) I've also wondered what sort of person you'd have to be to attempt all 3 in 12 hours, covering a distance of 24.5 miles.
Fast forward all those years and on the 12th May 2018, as part of a team of friends who also happen to be my work colleagues, I will discover if I've got what it takes.
To be honest, although I'm aiming to complete it in under 12 hours, I'd just like to be able to say that, whatever the time, I finished it in one piece.
Why are we doing the Challenge?
We're hoping to raise £105,000 in order to purchase a RetCam to donate to Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust Eye Hospital, based at Hull Royal Infirmary.
What is a RetCam?
A RetCam is a specialised camera that allows images to be taken of the back of children’s eyes to diagnose a range of eye problems including Retinopathy in premature babies, Retinoblastoma (eye cancer), ‘shaken’ babies or any child too young to sit at an adult camera.
Currently, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust does not own a RetCam, probably because it costs £105,000 and although it may not need to be used daily like other equipment (e.g. MRI scanners), it would be a vital addition to a Hospital Trust which already owns many 'state of the art' pieces of technology. Without the camera, families who need specialist equipment to either diagnose or monitor serious eye conditions must travel to hospitals out of the area.
Why does our area need a RetCam?
Accurate diagnosis of some eye diseases/conditions is often time critical and delays caused by travelling further afield can have an impact on the efficacy of any treatment plan.
If Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust owned one of these cameras, accurate and timely diagnoses would allow treatment plans to be started sooner, hopefully leading to a higher success rate and could help to reduce some of the anxiety that families suffer at an already deeply distressing time.
Some hospitals elsewhere in the country own several RetCams, we'd just like to be able to have one (for now), making specialist care accessible to a greater number of people.
Why choose to support this particular piece of equipment?
Whilst I do not have any personal experience of the need for a Retcam (for which I am thankful), a close colleague has a young family member, who has needed to travel up and down the country for specialist eye care on many occasions. It needs to be said that the purpose of our fundraising event is not for the benefit this particular little girl because she has had all the treatment deemed necessary for her condition at present and thankfully she is doing well.
Having witnessed the devastating effect recent years have had on the family, from diagnosis and through treatment, knowing that my efforts along with the other fundraisers, have helped in some way to reduce some of the pain that other families in the future will inevitably suffer, will give me an immense sense of pride.
Thank you for reading my story, thank you for your support and if you are able to, please help me to reach my £500 target, for which the words 'thank you' really won't seem enough. xxx