A Lincolnshire woman with a life-threatening disease is embarking on a 50k stand up paddle boarding challenge with her instructor and best friend to raise money for charities close to their hearts.
Carolyn Smith and Phil May are back on the water at the weekend ready for the 10-hour endeavour that will take them along the River Witham from Lincoln to Boston.
Behind it is their campaign to raise £2,000 for Annabelle’s Challenge – a charity for people like Carolyn with vascular ehlers danlos syndrome (eds) – and the RNLI.
This will be the fourth time the pair have completed the challenge together – the last one in 2021 being particularly gruelling for Carolyn who had to overcome a broken board and difficult conditions along the way, including a lot of weed in the River Witham.
However, Carolyn says with the help of Phil – the founder of Yellowbelly SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) in Anton’s Gowt – she is determined to succeed to raise awareness and funds for vascular eds research and the RNLI charity im memory for former Skegness coxwain Watty.
“I’m living with the ticking time bomb, My brother also has vascular eds and in May 2021 my dad died from the disease. Since then life has been hard. I’ve lost friends to vascular eds over the short time I’ve been diagnosed and the veds community are amazing. In the UK there is around 330 of us diagnosed with veds – we are rare and there is no cure. We don’t even have to be doing anything and a for a rupture to happen.”
– Carolyn, of Burgh le Marsh
Carolyn and Phil chose the RNLI as their second charity because they both spend so much time around water.
Phil sup surfs and Carolyn took up sea swimming this year after meeting Watty’s wife, Sandra.
The duo will set off from Lincoln on Saturday around 6am, travelling along the river via the Five Mile Bridge, Bardney Lock, Southrey, Kirkstead Bridge, Tattershall, Chapel Hill, Langrick and on to the finish at Anton’s Gowt.
To make a donation visit the Broken Hiker Challenge 2023 JustGiving page at justgiving.com
Source: Lincolnshire World