A grateful mother is fund-raising for charity in an effort to ‘give something back’ to those who helped her family through tougher times.
Emma Garwood’s identical twin daughters Megan and Gracie, now aged eight, had battled leukaemia for almost three and a half years when, in February last year, they were finally given the all-clear.
“Every month that goes on it gets better, but it’ll never go away, it’s always in the back of our minds,” said Emma.
Of her daughters’ progress, she said: “They’re doing so well. It just seems that they’ve grown up so fast. They’re getting their strength and are just like normal little girls.”
The twins, who also have a five-year-old sister, have been doing so well, in fact, that last month Emma and husband Mark were able to embark on their first family holiday in years, realising the twins’ long-awaited ‘Disneyland Dream’.
Emma, from Rougham, said: “It was absolutely brilliant – all we could have wished for really. The girls had a fantastic time. We just didn’t want to come home.”
But now the 41-year-old has decided it is time for her to give something back and she is busy training for the challenge of a lifetime, a Grand Canyon trek in 2014.
She said: “Throughout the journey, Mark and I, and the girls, were especially humbled by some of the amazing, kind people that came into our lives, some we didn’t have the pleasure to meet and some we already knew but, never the less, the support and strength we received without doubt helped us through some tough times.
“We always said when the time is right we will give something back and that time has now come for me.”
Emma’s adventure will see her hike to the Canyon floor, trekking through challenging landscapes for up to six hours a day and camping overnight.
She said: “I’ve never done anything like this before in my life. It’s going to test me mentally, emotionally and physically – the thought of being away from Mark and the girls scares the living daylights out of me.”
She hopes to raise at least £4,000 for Have a Heart, a charity that helps make seriously ill children’s wishes come true.
Megan and Gracie had their wish to visit Lapland granted in 2011 so it is a cause close to their mother’s heart.
Emma said: “Sometimes it’s a child’s last wish and it makes such a difference to their lives, as it did to us. It was such a lovely thing to do as a family whilst we were going through such a horrid time.”
To help boost Emma’s fund-raising, go to: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EmmaGarwood