Gallery: Danielle Ramsey braves Arctic terrain to raise more than £6,000 for Genesis Orwell Mencap, in memory of late sister Abby
- Credit: Archant
A physiotherapist from Ipswich braved freezing temperatures on a 200km Arctic trek in Sweden, to raise more than £6,000 in memory of her sister.
Danielle Ramsey, 33, endured temperatures of up to -25C in the challenge, which saw her sled with a team of husky dogs to raise money for Genesis Orwell Mencap.
In 2001, Miss Ramsey’s sister Abby, who had Down’s Syndrome, died as a result of a heart operation complication, followed by two of her friends Natalia Bruce and Mandy Gibson who also suffered from the condition.
Miss Ramsey said: “One of Abby’s friends had passed away maybe six months before I set out to do the challenge and I had an interest in all things polar so it seemed like the right thing to do at the right time.
“It was a great challenge, and I did it with people I had never met before who were all doing it for charities personal to them.
“It was an incredible experience being out in the wilderness and at times pretty emotional as it was such a personal quest.”
Throughout the trek, Miss Ramsey kept her sister and friends in mind to help spur her on through the difficult moments. She added: “The first night we were all going round telling each other why we were doing the trip, and the whole impact certainly got me then.”
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She was again reminded of the trio when the group saw the Northern Lights. She added: “A fellow challenger pointed out that the configuration looked like three angels which to me represented everything about Abby, who would have been 42 this year, Natalia and Mandy.”
The dedicated fundraiser had originally made a target of £2,500, but finished on a total of more than double that, reaching just over £6,000 with the help of fundraising activities from her sisters Jessica Ward, Philippa Ramsey and Beki Ramsey-Stewart, and parents Vivien and Joseph Ramsey. Among the other fundraising events were a Mad Hatters tea party and a 200km bike ride.
She added: “It’s been quite amazing. I have never fundraised before so this is the best thing I have ever done.”
Miss Ramsey returned home to thrilled staff at Genesis Orwell Mencap, who were delighted with her achievement.
Chief executive Nino Serritiello, said: “We are bowled over and extremely grateful for Danielle’s efforts.
“Danielle first came across Genesis when she was working as a support worker 10 years ago and was impressed by the services we offer for people with a range of disabilities, especially in light of her sister Abby.”
On Monday the intrepid adventurer gave a talk before inspired pupils at Bucklesham Primary School, who were raising money for Genesis Orwell Mencap with a non-uniform day wearing the colours of different flags of the world.
Headteacher Sue Todd said: “The children were really interested in finding out about her trek, and they really liked her stories about the dogs and how she coped.
“It is a really good charity to support because it is local to us and the children can see where that money goes, and pertinent to our school because Danielle’s niece Lydia is here.”
Miss Ramsey added: “I think the adventure just whet my appetite to do more, and I would love to do more Arctic or Antarctic ventures.”
See the video of Miss Ramsey’s adventure and her blog online at arctic4abby.wordpress.com