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A trekker's story

Hi Sunshine News readers,

Our team is still on a high following our amazing trek last month to the Yorkshire 3 Peaks and we felt that we had to share the story of two trekkers in particular who wowed us with their determination and unbelievably positive attitude.

Friends Alex and Vicky are no strangers to a Sunshine Fund challenge and met back in 2018 on our Kerala trek where they instantly formed a bond.

The Kerala trekkers were teamed with visually impaired travellers where they needed to guide them throughout the challenge by supporting them with every step and vividly describing every experience.

Fast forward four years and the dynamic duo joined forces again.

Alex was born with a genetic eye condition called Cone Dystrophy, meaning his sight has gotten progressively worse over time.

Whilst he is registered blind and uses a cane, he still has some sight and so he grabbed the opportunity to take on another challenge in aid of The Chronicle Sunshine Fund.

Alex said: "As someone who has a disability, I think it is crucial to keep pushing yourself to take on challenges, big or small, they all count.

"Sometimes it can be hard to imagine ourselves being able to get out there and do the things we dream of doing; we make assumptions about what is possible and what we are capable of.

"The problem is, most of the time, those assumptions are wrong, and we miss out on all the positives and fun that come into your life when you challenge yourself.

"That’s why when a friend shared the link to the Sunshine Fund’s Y3P challenge page, I knew I had to go for it!"

There’s no question that all of our trekkers were daunted by the scale of the gruelling 12-hour-challenge but for Alex, training offered a few more obstacles but he told us how he overcame them.

"Preparing for a challenge can be really tough, especially at the beginning. You have to make sacrifices and there are days when you don’t feel like putting yourself through it.

"It’s at those times that you have to remind yourself why you are doing it and how awesome it will feel when you get to where you need to be.

Alex’s vision impairment means that he can only see an impression of things and so couldn’t do the trek alone, this is where Vicky stepped in.

"For the challenge I had the help of my awesome friend Vicky. She guided me along the trek; giving me the heads-up about the terrain, obstacles, and keeping me as safe as possible.

"At points I held onto her backpack so I could get a better sense of the path and what movements I had to make. Without Vicky I would not have been able to do this challenge.

"I believe that with the right support anything is possible; there’s always a solution to every problem you just need to figure out a way around it."

If the trek alone wasn’t hard enough, trekkers needed to raise £300 in sponsorship to take part which enables us to fund life-changing equipment for our children. Alex raised a staggering £1,410 and told us what it meant to him.

"As someone who has a disability myself, I know first-hand the difference the right support can make and how it can transform a young person’s life.

"I love the feeling you get when you know you have made a positive impact on someone else’s life, so the fact I would be raising money for such an awesome cause made it a no-brainer."

We truly can’t thank Alex and Vicky enough for taking part in our 2022 trek, they are a pretty impressive duo that have inspired us all to live life to the full and challenge ourselves.

We know so many of our parents and children will also read Alex’s story and be inspired by his achievements and determination.

If you’re interested in taking on a challenge with The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, contact Erin Todd so that you can be the first to know when we launch our 2023 trek.

Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date with all our events and challenges: @sunshinefund

Here’s a final word from Alex: "I believe that whenever you take on a challenge in life, you always get something positive back.

"It doesn’t matter whether you smash it or struggle, the fact that you made the decision to challenge yourself and get outside of your comfort-zone will mean you have grown."

Have a great weekend,

Team Sunshine x



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