Norfolk group conquers Italian mountain and lake in memory of brave Maisie
Their knees may have suffered but their hearts were full of pride after climbing a mountain and swimming a lake.
That is because the cause which led 20 friends to complete the challenge at Italy’s Lake Como could not have meant more to them - helping children with cancer.
Called ‘Team Maisie’, the group from in and around Wymondham undertook the challenge in memory of Maisie Colquhoun, who died aged 17 in 2015, after battling a rare form of the disease.
Kerry Colquhoun, Maisie’s mum, was among those who swam across Como and climbed nearby Mount Bregagno - which is higher than Ben Nevis - at the end of July.
She said: “We, as Maisie’s family, found the whole experience in Italy incredibly emotional, physically taxing, but most of all overwhelmingly supportive.
“We are so grateful for those that took the time to take on this huge challenge.”
Team Maisie are aiming to raise £10,000 for the C9 Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, which helped look after Maisie. A number of children were part of the group that took part in the swim, including siblings Ruby, 11, and Olly Lucchetti, 13, from Wymondham.
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Ruby said the swim was difficult but worthwhile. She said: “I got a stitch halfway through the swim and I could have used the rescue boat, but I knew there are a lot of children with worse thing than a stitch.
“A lot of people had sponsored me and I didn’t want to let them down and the money we were getting from people was helping young people with cancer and helping them try to get better.”
The swim was done as part of the Traversata del Lago di Como, a 1,000m event which 600 people took part in.
The challenge followed a 100 mile cycle around Lake Como in 2015, which also raised money for the TCT, and the group is planning another event to raise money for the same cause.
Maisie’s family were full of praise for the care and love the TCT gave her. Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK, and around half are not treated in TCT units. But the TCT is building a wider support service within the NHS, which depends on donations.
To donate to Team Maisie’s fundraiser, visit www.themaisie100.com