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Disabled woman walks 100km on crutches to raise money for NHS

PUBLISHED: 14:14 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:14 25 May 2020

Andrea walked 100km around Ipswich during the month of May to raise money for the NHS. Picture: CONTRIBUTED (CREDIT SUPPLIED)

Andrea walked 100km around Ipswich during the month of May to raise money for the NHS. Picture: CONTRIBUTED (CREDIT SUPPLIED)

Archant

A disabled woman has walked 100km on crutches around Ipswich during May to raise money for the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis.

Andrea walked 100km around Ipswich during the month of May to raise money for the NHS. Picture: CONTRIBUTED (CREDIT SUPPLIED)Andrea walked 100km around Ipswich during the month of May to raise money for the NHS. Picture: CONTRIBUTED (CREDIT SUPPLIED)

Andrea, who has asked us not to use her surname, said NHS staff have “already improved the quality of my life and helped me live independently” after having juvenile chronic rheumatoid arthritis, which means she cannot walk unaided and struggles with movements in her joints.

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So when she saw the pressure doctors and nurses were under when the crisis struck, she felt compelled to do something to support them in their time of need.

With her trip to Spain this year to complete the El Camino pilgrimage cancelled because of the pandemic, she instead decided to walk the same 100km distance around Ipswich during the month of May.

Andrea walked 100km around Ipswich during the month of May to raise money for the NHS. Picture: CONTRIBUTED (CREDIT SUPPLIED)Andrea walked 100km around Ipswich during the month of May to raise money for the NHS. Picture: CONTRIBUTED (CREDIT SUPPLIED)

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Often racking up the miles during her lunch break, walking anywhere between 2km and 5km a day, Andrea said the challenge “put a lot of strain on my back and arms”.

However, she said it was pain she was willing to push through to help NHS workers making their own incredible sacrifices during the pandemic.

On her JustGiving page, Andrea wrote: “It is good to be good and do good.

Andrea walked 100km around Ipswich during the month of May to raise money for the NHS. Picture: CONTRIBUTED (CREDIT SUPPLIED)Andrea walked 100km around Ipswich during the month of May to raise money for the NHS. Picture: CONTRIBUTED (CREDIT SUPPLIED)

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“One of the good things here in UK is most definitely the NHS. How lucky we are to have it. Most days I can’t stop thinking of all the healthcare workers who work tirelessly and selflessly to save lives or just be there to offer some comfort when sadly people pass away, without their loved ones by their beds.

“I have a chronic condition myself and have received excellent service from NHS that has improved the quality of my life and helped me live independently, which is extremely important to me.

“I believe you can achieve most things in life where there is a will, some determination and good friends to cheer you along.”

Her efforts have certainly captured the imaginations of people in Ipswich, with Andrea easily beating her £500 target to raise more than £1,300 so far.

Andrea said: “When the pandemic hit, I experienced a lot of feelings.

“I was scared about what it would mean and at times I felt frustrated.

“But, at the same time, I realised there was so much good that was happening in so many positive responses from people. I was quite humbled by the things happening.

“I’m the kind of person who wants to help and do something positive, so I felt like this was something I wanted to do.

“If I do something that is difficult for me and causes some level of discomfort, hopefully I could get some of my friends to donate and feel I could focus my energy on doing something positive.

“A lot of us have luxury of being able to work from home, but I’ve thought about what the situation must mean for NHS staff.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to Andrea’s cause should visit her JustGiving page here.


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