10 months ago



INTERNATIONA Kirsty McNeil’s youngest child Sonny is a typical mischievous six year old, and she wouldn’t change him for the world! When Sonny was just eight weeks old, Kirsty and husband Rhos discovered that he had a heart murmur and that they needed to take him to see a specialist at Alder Hey. On seeing the specialist they were told the devastating news that no parent wants to hear, that he had a heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallots, and at six months of age Kirsty and Rhos took their beautiful baby to Alder Hey hospital where he had open heart surgery. Kirsty explained, “He was so strong throughout the whole process. Knowing the amazing hands he was in with the incredible nurses and doctors making sure he had the best care possible was what got me and my husband through such a tough time.” “For 6 weeks after the operation we had to be very gentle with him and very careful with how we held him and fed him when all we wanted to do was hold him tight and tell him how much we loved him!” Sonny has now fully recovered but continues to visit Alder Hey for his annual check-ups. Inspired by the work of the staff at Alder Hey, mum Kirsty decided to give something back and set about a variety of challenges to raise as much money as possible. Four half marathons and a trek on the Great Wall of China later, Kirsty decided to take herself well out of her comfort zone and sign up for the Alder Hey Vietnam to Cambodia cycle challenge in October 2017. Through fabulous scenic banana and coconut plantations, rice fields and river beds, Kirsty battled through 420km of buttock chafing 80% humidity cheered on by the joyous local people with a never ending supply of smiles. “The cycle challenge was definitely the toughest, most amazing experience of my life. It pushed me to my limits, but the fabulous group of people on the challenge and the knowledge that I was helping such a fantastic cause got me through the toughest days and to the amazing finish at Angkor Wat.” TO DATE KIRSTY HAS RAISED AN INCREDIBLE £15,000 FOR ALDER HEY CHILDREN’S CHARITY. HER NEXT CHALLENGE? THE ALDER HEY CHILDREN’S CHARITY INCA TRAIL TREK IN 2019… Despite his surgery Sonny showed remarkable resilience, and though he had to stay in hospital for six days post-surgery, he set a record recovery time for such a young baby! 26 International Challenges “If I can repay Alder Hey an ounce of what they have given me and my family I will do whatever I can to do so.” Sonny’s Mum, Kirsty

L CHALLENGES CONQUERING KILI… combine the adventure with raising vital funds for a fantastic cause. In order to prepare for this enormous task, the couple trained hard with gruelling early morning gym sessions, hill running, and mountain climbing at the weekends - including The Three Peaks Challenge. Since a young age Joanna Truchan had a dream to climb to the top of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. A former medical student at Alder Hey, and now a junior doctor at the hospital, Joanna’s experience of its fantastic work inspired her and partner James, an opposition analyst at Liverpool FC, to sign up for the challenge of a lifetime. Having climbed the highest mountain in Cuba, Pico Turquino in 2015, Joanna and James felt inspired to take on a much harder, more challenging expedition, and what better way to achieve one of their dreams than to Joanna and James successfully climbed Kilimanjaro in June 2017, reaching the 5,895m summit after 8 days with the words of one of their guides, Kissima, ringing in their ears, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” Joanna and James were delighted to raise over £10,000 for Alder Hey by ticking off a bucket list adventure which Joanna describes as “an incredible experience that I’ll never forget”. To experience this adventure for yourself, why not join the Alder Hey Kilimanjaro Trek 4 – 14 October 2018... KILIMANJARO TREK 4TH - 14TH OCTOBER 2018 CONQUER 5,895M OF THE HIGHEST FREESTANDING MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD AND HIGHEST MOUNTAIN ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT. Following the beautiful Machame route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the south, this trek takes you through dense tropical rainforest and moorland until you reach the snow-capped summit where breath-taking views and beautiful ice formations are the reward for pushing your limits, both physically and mentally on this fabulous bucket list challenge. REGISTRATION FEE: £399 MINIMUM SPONSORSHIP: £4,500 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT CATH ON 0151 282 4795 OR EMAIL COMMUNITY@ALDERHEYCHARITY.ORG

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