Preparations for Charity Trek to Machu Picchu with Crohns

Written by Paul Goodmaker on . Posted in Blog

1aDONATE HERE: http://www.justgiving.com/Joanna-O-Donoghue

Just over a year ago I had the idea of raising money ForCrohns and at the same time taking on a personal challenge to prove to myself and others, that even with Crohns and everything that goes with it, anything is possible. I contacted Charity Challenge and signed up to a charity trek in Peru. The challenge I chose was trekking in the Lares Valley to Machu Picchu and this was described as a “tough” challenge, trekking at high altitude for long days and camping out in pretty cold temperatures. On one of the days we have to climb 3,000 steps. I hoped to get a few other Crohns sufferers to come along but despite my persuasive powers, I was unsuccessful in this. However my son’s girlfriend, Lizzie decided to come along to support me and raise as much money as possible for the charity. I have learned recently that there are at last two other people on the trek who are raising money for bowel disease.

2My consultant was not over the moon at my plans and insisted on (another) colonoscopy to check the position with regard to my Crohns.  Unfortunately the camera was unable to pass into my small bowel (ouch!!) so we still don’t know the current position, except that I must be really careful what I eat up there miles from a hospital. Fingers firmly crossed.

So began the task of raising as much money as we could, with £3,700 being the minimum required to take part in the challenge. We set up our Justgiving pages and friends and family began to donate. Despite their incredible generosity we also needed to set up some fundraising events. This has certainly been a learning curve and we have had some setbacks and some incredible successes along the way. What has been incredible is the amazing generosity of family and friends for their support and time but also from random strangers who often had a family member or friend suffering with this illness and wanted to donate.  We have been able to talk to a wide range of people to raise awareness of Crohns Disease and ForCrohns and have had some local radio coverage to do the same.

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Music events have featured in our fundraising and we have held events in Norfolk and London featuring a wide range of music, in the main due to my son’s involvement in the music business.  This video is from Music forCrohns at The Troubadour in London in February 2017.

All of these musicians have performed for no cost. I have held two auctions with prizes donated from local businesses, including generous donations from a well-known Norfolk artist and photographer.  We have held sales in London and Norfolk , a quiz night and I have shaken a bucket in Tesco. That last one was not such a successful idea in terms of raising money but I got to talk to a lot of people about Crohns. We have learned what works and what doesn’t but feel we have been pretty successful overall. At the point of writing this we have raised over £8,000. We are still continuing to raise money with just 31 days to go so if you would like to donate a small amount or share this blog, then please do! Justgiving details below.

DONATE HERE: http://www.justgiving.com/Joanna-O-Donoghue

Alongside our fundraising efforts we have to have a good level of fitness so I am spending hours walking and on the treadmill in the gym trying to build up my stamina and skinny legs! We fly to Cusco on April 6th and after a very short time acclimatizing to the altitude we will set off. We hope to post photos and a blog about our challenge. Watch this space and wish us luck!!!