02 Oct Colchester PR boss walked 286 miles to raise £3k for Gt Ormond Street Hospital
The MD of Big Wave PR, Hilary Collins, from Ardleigh, Colchester, has walked 286 miles around the Cornish coastal path through rainstorms, gales and sunshine to raise almost £3,000 for Gt Ormond Street Hospital.
She started the mammoth charity trek back in June, which saw her walk from Bude to St Ives, and revisited the county on two more occasions. On the last stretch Hilary walked from Porthcurno, near Land’s End to Plymouth and arrived at her final destination on 27 September. The cause is very close to Hilary’s heart as her daughter, Ciara Collins-Allen, 12, a pupil at Manningtree High School, has been under Gt Ormond’s Street’s care since she was just a few weeks’ old.
She explains: “My daughter has an unusual birthmark (haemangioma). It came up on her face a couple of weeks after she was born, but we also discovered that she had one in her throat too and she struggled to breathe. She was given an operation to laser the birthmark, but it didn’t go to plan and she ended up in intensive care for three very scary days. Since that time, she’s returned to Gt Ormond Street every few months for further laser treatment on her face and the birthmarks have receded a lot, but she will remain a patient for several years to come. I’ve always wanted to repay the amazing staff at Gt Ormond Street for saving my daughter’s life and this charity trek was my way of saying ‘thankyou’.”
She continued: “This walk has been an incredible experience – apart from the blisters! I’ve been amazed at everyone’s generosity, I’ve almost doubled the fundraising target and the walk has also helped highlight the difficulties faced for people with birthmarks. However, the weather was a challenge on the final stretch as storm after storm battered the Cornish coast, but during the last week the sunshine came out and it proved to be a glorious walk to the finish line.”
All funds raised from the fundraising walk will be donated to the dermatology unit at Gt Ormond Street Hospital who require thousands of pounds to pay for new specialist lasers. To support Hilary in her fundraising venture, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cornishcoastalpathgosh.