Young Worthing woman with spinal muscular atrophy raises £700 for hospice

A 20-year-old woman from Worthing with a neuromuscular disorder has taken part in a sporty fundraising event to raise money for a hospice that has supported her for the last 16 years.

Team Torricelli at the Superhero Tri
Team Torricelli at the Superhero Tri

Rebecca (Becca) Torricelli has spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that affects her mobility, swallowing and respiratory system. She has never walked or crawled, and has always used a wheelchair.

Her family regularly takes part in sporting events for the hospice, but Becca is often restricted to observing and cheering from the sidelines.

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However, on Saturday, August 17, Becca was able to join the Superhero Tri, as it was an event organised by the Superhero Series, the UK’s only disability sports series.

Made up of a 400m swim, 10km cycle and 2.5km run, the event has no cut-off times or equipment restrictions.

Nicky Torricelli, Becca’s mother, said: “We had such an emotional day at the Superhero Tri. Since visiting Chestnut Tree House in 2003 we have used many of their services – the community nursing team, hydrotherapy pool, counselling services, and many more.

“The charity is very close to our hearts and they have provided amazing support to us over the years.

“That is why we wanted to take part in the Superhero Tri. We want to raise money and awareness of the amazing services offered by Chestnut Tree House. This event was perfect for us as we are a sporty family and it meant so much to us that we could all participate together… even the dog!”

‘Team Torricelli’ has raised £700 from their Superhero adventures, smashing their original £500 target.

Sarah Colbourne, head of fundraising at Chestnut Tree House, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Becca and her family for their support, and it’s wonderful that they’ve been able to take part in this challenge together as a family.

“To put their fundraising into perspective, we need to raise £285 every hour to pay for all our specialist care services, both at the House and in families’ own homes, so support like this is invaluable. Team Torricelli have raised enough to pay for two and half hours of care by taking part in the Superhero Tri, which is fantastic.”

Becca was one of the first children to receive care from Chestnut Tree House when it opened its doors in 2003.

The hospice provides specialist palliative care to children and young people with life-shortening conditions in Sussex and south east Hampshire.

Of the hospice, Becca said: “In a world that is full of obstacles and uncertainty, it is rare but imperative to find somewhere of sanctuary. Where you can escape, or if not escape, forget, most of your worries and breathe a sigh of relief that you have somewhere to go in your hour of need. That’s what Chestnut is like for me and my family.”