Helen Hyland, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.
Emma Jenkins (44) had set herself the challenge of climbing Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, for the M.E Association. A challenge that she completed on the 30th May with the help of her husband Peter (39).
Emma, from Redbourn, has had Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) for around 20 years – making her latest achievement even more incredible.
Her health is much better than it was, but her journey of recovery is far from over.
When M.E was at its worst, Emma was trapped in bed, in pain and very isolated.
She says that she felt imprisoned, unable to sleep for weeks and too weak even to feed herself.
She also struggled to find foods that her body could tolerate.
These were dark years of mental and physical agony made worse by the judgement of others who could not understand.
Over many years, Emma has been determined to improve her quality of life and try in her own way to live it in the best way she can. And to go from where she was in her dark days to being able to climb Ben Nevis is nothing short of a miracle.
But Emma did not do this epic challenge for herself, she did it to raise awareness of M.E and for all M.E sufferers in Britain. Emma says, “I wouldn’t have been able to complete this climb without my wonderful supportive husband, Peter.”
Emma and Peter almost gave up about three quarters of the way up. The only thing keeping them going was their determination and the disappointment they would feel if they didn’t make it to the summit.
“The climb itself was both the toughest challenge we had ever done together, but also the most amazing, and with spectacular views.
“We met some inspiring and selfless people too. It is something that I will remember, with pride, for the rest of my life.”
Emma phoned our fundraising manager, Helen Hyland, from the top sounding tired but totally elated to have made it. Two days later, just before they flew home, they met up so that Helen could thank her in person.
Helen says, “I was thrilled to meet Emma and Peter. Their smiles said it all – they were both clearly delighted to have reached the top for M.E.
“We chatted for ages – about her illness, their training and preparations, and about all the precautions they took to accommodate Emma’s special needs.
“I am very pleased that Emma is now sensibly resting. She recognises that her recovery will take quite some time and has factored this in to her plans for the next few weeks.”
Emma and Peter would like to thank the kindness and generosity of all those who supported their challenge.
The people who made donations, gave practical support, or in the case of Peter’s employers, (South Mimms Travel) the sponsoring of their flights to and from Scotland.
Without which all of this would have been impossible.
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