A Wisbech youth worker is currently trekking 100km across the Sahara Desert in a bid to raise £3,000 in memory of her mum.
Two years after completing the Inca Trail in Peru in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, she is now enduring scorching temperatures of 30-50C with the gruelling seven-day desert trek in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The 27-year-0ld, who departed on her latest challenge on Sunday, wanted to complete the challenge in memory of her mum, who died from cancer in April 2011.
She said Marie Curie helped support her when her mum decided she wanted to end her life in their comfort of her own home, rather than in hospital.
She said: “They were truly amazing. They offered me a shoulder to cry on, someone who understood, someone to trust and not judge and someone I knew could help mum as well as, if not better, than me.
“They not only helped mum, but me also, as well as my family. Their kindness, patience, thoughtfulness and high quality care made what was the worst time ever a little more bearable.”
Laura had to raise £1,950 to be able to join the trip, which she raised through events including a fundraising party at Mendis, Wisbech, a quiz night, numerous cake sales at Awdry House, Wisbech, where she works, and, most recently, a ‘goodbye and good luck’ party at the Hare and Hounds pub, Wisbech, on October 25, which raised £576.33.
Laura thanked local businesses who donated prizes for a raffle on the night and landlady Jacqui Owens for enabling the event to take place.
Laura has now raised more than £2,500 and is hoping to reach her target of £3,000.
She said: “I am eternally grateful to Marie Curie for their support and the trek is my way of saying thank you. Not only that but to raise awareness and funds for Marie Curie in order to let other patients and their families have this support and help at such a very difficult and awful time in their lives.”
Laura prepared for the trek with regular walks along the North Norfolk coast, and has been supported in her training by Rob Cobb at New Vision Fitness Centre, Wisbech.
Anyone wishing to sponsor Laura can visit her fundraising website at: www.justgiving.com/Laura-Burgess4