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Trekking the Great Wall of China - the final countdown

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Nurses Jetta Chita and Jenny Greenfield are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime to raise money for the Breast Cancer Campaign

Jetta Chita - 'Six months ago this was all a dream'

Only one week to go before my big adventure to the Great Wall of China for Breast Cancer Campaign!

I cannot believe that six months ago this was all a dream. Now my dream is going to become a reality.
The good thing is I have had six months to get fitter and although this has mainly been walking, it is amazing how quickly you can get your fitness level up. Maybe I'm not fit enough to run a marathon just yet, but who knows what the next challenge could be!
My weekly routine consists of a one hour walk during my lunch break. This takes me to the local town centre, which has a fair amount of steps leading from one level to another. So up and down those steps I go, no escalators for me! The first couple of weeks I had to stop for a breath half way up the steps, but now I'm up and down in jig time.

As I mentioned before, as the local practice nurse, patients recognise me and cheer me on. It’s not only a challenge for me to help such a worthy charity, but most people know someone who has had breast cancer, and they feel with their sponsorship money and support they are enabling me to do something that maybe they themselves are unable to do.
Weekends ... leisurely time... I wish! I’m now doing two four-hour hikes. On a Saturday this takes me from my house in Airdrie to the next town Coatbridge where I stop for a ten-minute break at my friend's post office for a bottle of water and a banana (energy food!). Then I head back home, iPod in place and happy as a bunny.

This is a round trip of 12 miles with lots of hills, however unfortunately the hills are on the way back when I'm flagging a wee bit. But I push myself and get there, a bit tired but I do feel good.
Sunday I go in the other direction for a change of scenery, and nowhere to stop off. Most people are having a leisurely Sunday morning reading papers, etc. There is a country walk that takes me through fields, which lead to the town centre and a fair hike up and down more hills. This is a 14-mile hike. Again I’m tired but happy at the end, an achievement and all in a worthy cause. If people can suffer pain and fear and can push themselves to accept their treatments and their fate, a few aching muscles at the end of a day is a dawdle.

The organisers said it is a good idea to get used to walking up steps, so in between the soaps, I go up and down my stairs at home. I have 13, so at the commercial break I go up and down 10 times. I do this at least 5 times in the night and it all helps - a new stair carpet may be needed soon though!
So I hope you are reading this and thinking 'I can do that!' You can! So contact Breast Cancer Campaign and see what challenge they have for you.

Here is a pic of me just ready to set off for my 4 hour hike while all you lazy people are reading your Sunday papers!


Jenny Greenfield - 'This challenge is very personal for me'

It’s not long to go now until I jet off to China to start my trek. So to make sure I’m in shape for the challenge I’ve been stepping up my exercise regime to help me get fit.

The Great Wall of China trek is a nine day challenge and each day will include roughly a 12km walk along the Great Wall. Although there’s going to be spectacular mountain views to keep me distracted, I have no doubt that my poor legs are going to feel a little worse for wear by the end of each day. So I’ve been doing all I can to help me physically prepare.

I’ve joined a spinning class so that I can strengthen my thigh muscles for all the steps we are going to have to climb and I attend the class twice a week along with long swims whenever I can. When I can find time at the weekend, I have also been trying to get my boots well broken in by walking along Brighton beach.

As I mentioned before, part of my job as a practice nurse focuses on women’s health which is partly why I chose to support Breast Cancer Campaign with this challenge. As I’m sure many of you know 46,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, which works out as 125 people a day. Survival rates have improved over the last 30 years, but too many women still die from breast cancer every year.

As well as many close friends and family, I’ve also met many patients who have suffered from breast cancer. So this challenge is very personal for me and I know that every penny I raise will help to make a difference to women diagnosed with the disease everywhere.

Breast Cancer Campaign specialises in funding research across all areas of breast cancer, from genetics and prevention all the way through to diagnosis and treatment. As breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, it’s absolutely vital that we continue to support charities such as Campaign in order to understand more about this disease.

I’ll let you know how I get on with my challenge, but in the mean time please feel free to sponsor me at Hopefully my challenge will also inspire a few of you to take on your own challenge as well!

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Hmmm, maybe I'm cynical but none of these charity 'events' ever involve car boot sales in the rain do they?

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