Yorkshire pensioner Trish Hanlon has battled to overcome her own disabilities and complete a 192-mile walking challenge – to help disabled and terminally ill children in the county.
Trish, aged 68 and from Catterick, lost the balance in her right ear two years ago, which sent her staggering and affected her ability to walk. Since then she has had to retrain her brain to be able to walk in a straight line. So taking on the coast to coast walk, from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire, was a huge challenge.
She said: “I tackled the walk over a number of separate days during the summer, completing it earlier this month (September) in Robin Hood’s Bay. It was tough, but God got me through and thankfully my husband and family supported me, quite literally at times, every step of the way.”
Trish has raised an amazing £2,250-plus for Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, and a live music event next month (October), organised by her brother-in-law, is expected to boost the total. This fundraising is helping to provide vital specialist equipment for seven children in the county.
Last week, four-year-old Noah Maguire from Harrogate received a second walker to enable him to move about and play more independently at nursery. Prior to that his dad Richard was having to transport his only walker an extra ten miles a day to his nursery.
Noah’s mum Catherine Maguire said: “Noah has a rare neuro condition called Cerebellar Hypoplasia which means his cerebellum is smaller than you would expect. The cerebellum is responsible for controlling balance and co-ordination which in turn has affected Noah's ability to walk, communicate and complete fine motor tasks.”
He was issued with his first walker from Harrogate hospital about six months ago and his mum Catherine commented on how the fantastic design allows him to walk independently for up to 30 minutes, engage in arts based activities and feed the animals at nursery. He has even proved to be a whiz at bowling. The walker is easily adjustable and supportive to a child with balance difficulties who is developing his core strength and co-ordination skills. Noah is desperately seeking independence and the equipment enables him to do more things for himself, empowering him.
Catherine said: “A huge thanks to Trish for her amazing fundraising efforts to provide the walker for Noah and equipment for other children, it really does transform lives.”
Newlife Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan said: “It’s great that we have been able to help Noah – and we want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Trish for her fundraising efforts. Without the support of people like Trish, hundreds of disabled and terminally ill children would go without the equipment they desperately need."
Pictured: Noah Maguire with dad Richard.