When Hannah was fifteen, she suffered an injury playing netball and sustained nerve damage that eventually led to a diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Within fourteen months, Hannah was totally bed-bound.
But, thirteen and a half years later, following complex surgeries and many hours of painful physiotherapy, Hannah progressed all the way to taking her first steps.
In 2013, we granted Hannah’s Starlight Wish to go on a family holiday to London, her first in eight years; Hannah said it was ‘magical’. Since then, Hannah has been one our most loyal fundraisers, making and selling Christmas cards to raise money for Starlight every year.
This year, to celebrate the 35th birthday of her late brother Ben, Hannah set herself a huge challenge: to complete thirty lengths of her garden by her 30th birthday.
I am overwhelmed with the support from my road, family and friends. I really didn’t expect so many people to get behind me and my #BenHannah3530 challenge. It shows a great sense of community and it means so much.
Walking for Hannah is exhausting, extremely painful and takes a long time. She uses a powerchair in daily life, but can walk a few metres a day with the help of her splints, a four wheeled walker and support from her PA and parents.
Despite these difficulties, Hannah took on this mammoth challenge with a stoic resolution not to be defeated. She couldn’t contribute to the distance every day, as some days she wasn’t physically able to walk, but set out with the aim to complete her thirty lengths over a period of a few months.
Having not walked outside for many years, the uneven terrain in her garden presented a big challenge. Hannah said: “When I’m attempting the gentle gradient of the patio it feels as if I’m climbing Mount Everest! Nevertheless, I’m getting there!”
Hannah persevered, completing a lap whenever she felt able and dedicating herself to this huge milestone with true sprit after many years of hard work.
Ben was always there for me, he supported me and helped me on my difficult journey, particularly when I was in hospital. I miss that closeness and doing things together. I know he will always be with me in spirit and I will take him with me throughout my life. So this is a challenge we are doing together.
Spurred on by the support of her family, friends and neighbours, who all joined in fundraising however they could, Hannah completed her 30th length of her garden on the 16th March.
She’s raised almost £5,000 for her chosen charities, including Starlight, and has inspired all of us. Congratulations, Hannah!
You can contribute to Hannah’s fundraising using the link below.