Niece inspires Lewes woman to climb Ben Nevis

Catherine Fletcher at the summit of Ben Nevis.
Catherine Fletcher at the summit of Ben Nevis.

A woman inspired by her 17-month old niece has trekked to the highest point in the British Isles and raised more than £3,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Catherine Fletcher, from Lewes, made the journey for niece Ida, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at four-weeks-old.

She has to have a daily routine of physiotherapy, medication, diet and exercise to help fight against chronic infections which can inflame and scar her lungs.

Catherine persuaded school friends Marie, Maddie and Rachel to join her on the 1343m climb to the summit of Ben Nevis which they completed in beautiful September sunshine on Saturday.

They have also organised a raffle with prizes generously given by Lewes businesses (Baltica, Real Eating Company, Harveys, Laportes, Fireworks, Buttercup, Flint Owl, Limetree Kitchen, Lewes FC and Abergavenny Arms) to raise money and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening genetic condition – only half live to celebrate their 40th birthday.

It causes the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, to become clogged with thick sticky mucus.

Catherine said: “The terrain was much harder than we expected, even with all our training. Psychologically it is a hard mountain to climb as you can’t see the top until you are on the top.

“Doing the climb to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust puts Ida’s condition into perspective.

“We knew that our challenge would only last nine hours whereas Ida has a life long challenge ahead of her.

“We asked people to donate not because we deserved anything, but because people with Cystic Fibrosis deserve to hope for a better future.”

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is a UK-wide charity making a daily difference to the lives of people with cystic fibrosis, and those who care for them.

It offers practical support through its team of public affairs officers and its helpline, and offers a range of welfare grants.

To sponsor the team visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/benneviscf