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Nurse in speed climb challenge

PUBLISHED: 18:12 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:44 02 July 2010

Sam Emanuel

A Norfolk carer has been inspired to climb the three highest peaks in Great Britain in just 24 hours to raise money for a charity close to her heart.

Caroline Thurtell, 45, a nurse from Bergh Apton, will be completing the challenge in July to raise money to help find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a condition which a lady she cares for, Sarah Baragwanath, was diagnosed with in 2005 at the age of just 35.

A Norfolk carer has been inspired to climb the three highest peaks in Great Britain in just 24 hours to raise money for a charity close to her heart.

Caroline Thurtell, 45, a nurse from Bergh Apton, will be completing the challenge in July to raise money to help find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a condition which a lady she cares for, Sarah Baragwanath, was diagnosed with in 2005 at the age of just 35.

Mrs Thurtell is part of a team which nurses Mrs Baragwaneth at her home in Caistor-St-Edmund, as the mother-of-three is now unable to walk, speak or eat as a result of the progressive disease.

They have been inspired by Mrs Baragwaneth's determination to live for her children, who are nine, five and two, to reach the summits of Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales in just 24 hours, which includes travelling time.

Mrs Thurtell, who has two children of her own, said: “We will start at the bottom of Ben Nevis at 9am, climb that in five hours, travel to Scafell Pike, start climbing that in the evening, which will take five hours, then travel to Snowdon from 1am to 5am and start climbing Snowdon at 5am, which we have four hours for.

“I think it's going to be really hard, especially with the lack of sleep, but it's an excellent cause. I've seen how distressing the condition can be and how life changing it is through nursing Sarah.

“When I met her in 2007, she had a life expectancy of six months to three years, but she is still here. She is a real inspiration, because although she hasn't been able to speak for a long time and has to be tube fed, she lives for her children.

“Sarah is an extremely courageous woman with an infectious smile and great sense of humour, and she never gives up hope that one day a cure will be found for MND.”

The team is hoping to raise as much money as possible for the MND Association, and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/Caroline-Thurtell212372.

Are you doing something unusual to raise money for a charity close to your heart? Call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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