Louise Dawson
Posted by
Louise Dawson

10 years, 10 challenges, 10 months

Louise Dawson
Posted by
Louise Dawson
05 Aug 2016

Emma McVeigh is completing 10 challenges throughout 2016, one for every year since she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Supporter Emma McVeigh has had a very busy 2016 so far and has completed no less than seven of her ten challenges she has set herself to complete throughout the year! Diagnosed with leukaemia in 2006 aged 16, Emma is determined to raise as much money as she can for the five charities who have helped her through her illness over the last ten years.

Please take a moment to read Emma’s amazing story and hear about the fantastic and brave challenges she has taken on:

My name is Emma McVeigh. I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia in 2006 at the age of 16. I have had various treatment including a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and donor lymphocyte infusions. Unfortunately all of this treatment was unsuccessful and I still have leukaemia.

As 2016 is the tenth anniversary of my diagnosis, I wanted to mark this by fundraising for five fantastic charities which have helped me during my treatment.

  • I chose to raise money for Bloodwise because they do so much brilliant work; without their continuing research I would not have had the treatment options that I have been given.
  • Without the Anthony Nolan donor register I wouldn’t be here today. It took nearly a year to find me a donor as I have a rare tissue type.
  • I was fortunate enough to be placed on a Teenage Cancer Trust Unit in Leicester. They really helped to make my stay a lot more comfortable, as they treat you as a teenager first and a patient second.
  • CLIC Sargent had a fantastic support and activity co-ordinator who would bring round activities during my stay in hospital. She also arranged excellent social outings.
  • I am also fundraising for Willow who arranged for me to have a ‘Special Day’. This really helped me to forget about everything I was going through and gave me a day which I will never forget.

To start my fundraising, I continued with the theme of ‘10’ and decided to take part in ten challenges, one per month for ten months.

January: I began with a ten hour Bowlathon. It was a long day and hard work but I was very lucky to have the help and support of friends and family who came along to join in the bowling.

February: This month’s challenge was a Skydive at Hinton Airfield. I was very excited about this challenge and did not feel nervous at all. I was very lucky with the weather on the day, however, as it was February it was freezing - especially at 13,000ft!

March: For March, I abseiled 100m down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. Standing underneath it was a bit daunting and the worst bit was stepping out onto the side of a huge building. I wasn’t feeling too well that day but the abseil and amazing views helped take my mind off it.

April: As I am a huge football fan, in April I decided to visit ten London football stadiums in ten hours. As I do not have the physical fitness to run, walk or cycle between stadiums, I was very lucky that Tuk Tuk UK very generously offered me the use of one of their Tuk Tuks. All of the clubs I visited were very welcoming, allowing me pitch side access for photographs. The CEO of Crystal Palace presented me with a signed football shirt and BBC London Sport interviewed me. Again, I had been quite ill the day before but I was determined to complete the challenge

May: In May, I travelled to Europe, visiting ten capital cities in ten days. Starting in London, I went to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, Zagreb and finally finishing in Rome. I did this challenge by train and although it was very tiring, it was amazing. I finished the challenge on my birthday which was a great way to end.

June: This month saw me carry out my sixth challenge whilst on holiday in South of France - a 182m bungy jump off Artuby Bridge. This was by far the most nervous I have ever felt doing a challenge, however, once I jumped I really loved the experience.

July: I have just completed my seventh challenge. This was definitely the most physically demanding challenge yet. I went Hydrospeeding at Lee Valley Whitewater Centre which was used for the canoe slalom at the 2012 London Olympics. Although it was tough, it was really cool.

I cannot believe I now only have three challenges left, including diving with sharks, a wingwalk and a final one I have yet to decide upon! In October, I am also organising a charity ball with a Las Vegas theme to raise more money for the five charities I am supporting.

If you can support Emma and help her to raise as much money as possible during her final few challenges please sponsor her by heading to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/emmasaim10.