A Castlerock woman took on an epic Eastern adventure last month to raise funds for children affected by cancer back home in Northern Ireland.
Alice Maguire took part in a Great Wall of China Trek for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children (NICFC), a charity that provides vital practical, therapeutic and financial support services to local children affected by cancer, and their families.
Alice joined a group of around 30 other intrepid souls for the trek, including fellow employees from Henderson Wholesale where she currently works, and travelled across China to explore sections of the ancient Great Wall.
Though now crumbling in parts, the wall, which once protected China so well from foreign invaders, still stretches on for more than 5,000 miles and is one of the most impressive man-made wonders on Earth.
A typical trekking day included up to seven hours of walking, often at high altitudes or over difficult terrain. According to Alice, it could be quite a challenge. “The trek was more physically demanding than I had thought it would be,” she said. “There were more steps than I could ever have imagined! “
Nonetheless, she kept moving ever forward, successfully completing the trek and raising an incredible £50,000 for a very grateful NICFC with the rest of the Henderson staff.
She also came away with some wonderful memories. She said, “My favourite day was walking through a National Park to get to the Great Wall, the views were amazing and much different than the previous days on the Wall. I also enjoyed chatting to the Local Guides; it was fantastic to hear about their culture first hand. What made going on the trek even more worthwhile, however, was the knowledge that every step I took was helping to raise money for children living with cancer.”
Although Alice isn’t sure she will have time in future to complete another long trek, she would still “recommend it to anyone”.
Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children is currently on the lookout for people to join its Trek Cuba event in November 2014. This fantastic nine day trekking challenge will take in picturesque colonial towns, vibrant Afro-Cuban culture, enchanting and unspoilt countryside, and will offer people a chance to uncover a place that little is known about.
Anyone interested in finding out more or wishing to sign up should get in touch with Amanda Steele on 028 9080 5599 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details are also available through the NICFC website, www.nicfc.com/events. Every penny raised from the trek will be used to support NICFC’s services.