After finding out that she had MS, 23 year old Hayley Budge decided she wanted to pack as much adventure into her life as possible. Hayley and her friend Sarah Jessen, both from Orkney, will be taking part in our Iceland Trek next year. Here Hayley tells us about their preparations for the trek.
Along with my friends, family and colleagues, my wonderful friend Sarah Jessen has been a rock for me in the months following my diagnosis. When I said I wanted to do something big for charity she didn’t hesitate and signed up for the Iceland Trek too.
We’ve not started training specifically for the trek yet. We’re both active people anyway. Sarah goes to Zumba and yoga on a weekly basis and I enjoy cycling and going to the gym. Having multiple sclerosis makes me more determined to be generally fit in everyday life. We plan to start focused training in January 2014 – that’ll give us an excuse to make the most of all festive parties this year.
On that note, a lovely woman, Carol Taylor, is holding a Santa’s Tea Party in mid December to raise money for us. It was all her idea and she’s organised the whole thing. There will be lots of cake and party games for the invitees to enjoy. My contribution will be homemade wine and millions of teacups. I’ve been buying china teacups and saucers from the charity shops for weeks now with the intention of holding a Giant Mad Hatters’ Tea Party – I’m not really a coffee morning kind of girl. I’ve got 86 teacups and saucers already.
The first event I have started organising with Sarah is an art show to be held in March 2014. The positive response has been overwhelming. Many of the artists who are going to contribute to the exhibition are renowned Orkney artists, which is super duper and every donation of artwork is much appreciated. One of my neighbours, Bert Simpson, is very kindly letting us use his gallery for the exhibition.
We’re also very grateful to all our friends, family, acquaintances and people who we have never met whose generosity means our sponsor page and sponsor forms are now totaling nearly £800 – over 30% of our initial target already.
We’ve had a delightful write up in our local paper about the trek and Al Jazeera have been great – I took part in the documentary they made about their correspondent, Stephanie Scawen, who has MS too. They then asked me to write about MS for their website and added a link on the article to our sponsor page.
I aim to raise awareness about MS along the way as well. I’ve started a blog called You can’t see this, on which I will be posting a different, surprising and invisible symptom of MS every week up until the trek in July 2014.
If you would like to join Hayley and Sarah on our Iceland Trek from 2-6 July 2014, there are still six places available – find out more and book.