A Wisbech youth worker has raised more than £3,000 in memory of her mum after a “mind-blowingly incredible” trek across the Sahara Desert.
Laura Burgess battled through scorching temperatures of 30-50C, severely blistered feet and a fierce sandstorm to complete the seven-day challenge in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The 27-year-old was one of 44 people to take part in the gruelling trek last month, and together they have raised in excess of £103,000 for the cause.
Laura, who completed the Inca Trail in Peru in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support two years ago, decided to take on the Sahara challenge in memory of her mum, who died from cancer in April 2011.
She said Marie Curie was “truly amazing” and helped support her and her family when her mum decided she wanted to end her life in the comfort of her own home, rather than in hospital.
“I am eternally grateful for Marie Curie’s support and this trek was my way of saying thank you,” she added.
Laura, who works at Awdry House, Wisbech, started the trek on November 2.
She said many parts of the experience were tough, but one of the worst days was on day three when they had to battle their way through a sandstorm.
She said: “The sand was fine and dust like, being blown head-on into our faces, hitting our bare legs and taking over our skin.
“Despite our scarves and sunglasses, it got in your mouth, between your teeth, in your eyes and felt heavy as it gathered in the bottom of your eyelids.
“It was painful and horrible and it stuck to you like glue.”
She described the trek as “incredible” and said she felt proud and humbled to have taken part.
“I loved every moment of the trek and it has taught me so much,” she added.
“Without such a fantastic group of people I may have struggled to continue.
“I cannot put into words how breathtaking and incredible the feelings of enlightenment and joy are, having completed the challenge.”
Anyone wishing to boost Laura’s fundraising total before her deadline on Monday can visit her fundraising website at: www.justgiving.com/Laura-Burgess4