Barry woman set to trek the Sahara in aid of British Heart Foundation
A BARRY woman is set to trek across the Sahara desert in a bid to raise money for a charity she says helped save her mum’s life.
Catherine Hillier, of the Waterfront, will complete the five-day trek in February with friend Linzi Obradovic in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Catherine’s mum, Christine, has been cared for by BHF nurses after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a genetic form of heart failure.
"She has had a device implanted that keeps her alive,” explained Catherine, 31.
“It’s one part pacemaker, one part defibrillator."
And she praised the work of the BHF nurses in caring for her mother, whom she has now nicknamed ‘The Bionic Woman’.
"They saved her life and gave her back to me, so this is giving something back to them," she said.
"My mother was in hospital for seven weeks and they were brilliant, visiting her on a regular basis. She still goes to regular support groups and she sees heart failure nurses once a month and they are all funded by BHF."
Catherine, a lecturer in complimentary therapies at Cardiff and Vale College, added: "The minimum we need to raise is £3,500 but we would like to exceed that.”
As part of the fundraising Christine has been baking a cake every week, with Catherine’s students buying slices.
"In cake sales we have raised £450, another £150 in personalised wrist bands, and £600 in sponsorship forms,” said Catherine.
"We have to raise 80 per cent of the funds and send it off by November 30."
Catherine and Linzi have a range of fundraising initiatives planned, including a three-course meal and silent auction in Cardiff and Vale College’s Glamorgan Suite in Barry, on October 25 (tickets £25).
Items up for auction include signed gloves from boxing stars Joe Calzaghe, Lee Selby and Fred Evans, with Catherine and Linzi still appealing for local businesses to donate more items for the auction.
A charity Halloween Party will also be held in the Jenner Rooms of Jenner Park on Saturday, October 27, from 7.30pm until late.
Tickets are £5 and can be bought from Catherine. There will also be a disco, buffet, raffle, and fun and games. Sports memorabilia at the auction will also include a signed rugby ball and pictures from the Wales rugby Grand Slam winning team, as well as a signed Cardiff City shirt.
Fancy dress is recommended for the party.
To make a donation towards the auctions, to sponsor Catherine or Linzi, or to buy tickets to either fundraiser, contact Catherine on email email@example.com or by ringing 07972 936275.