A catering assistant at the West Suffolk Hospital is linking up with her father to tackle the three highest peaks in the UK in a bid to raise money for a hospital charity.
Michaela Cooper and Paul Sims are set to scale Ben Nevis, in Scotland, followed by Scafell, in the Lake District, and finally Snowdon, in Wales, over a 24-hour period, on Friday, June 11.
The pair are taking on the Three Peaks challenge in a bid to raise £1,000 as part of the Beacon of Light Challenge which is being run by the My WiSH Charity, which supports the West Suffolk Hospital.
And it comes after three family members were treated for Covid-19 at the hospital in Bury St Edmunds.
Sadly, the pandemic claimed the lives of the grandfather and grandmother of her husband Ben while Michaela’s brother-in-law Daniel Cooper, was also struck down with the illness. Thanks to the care and attention he received at the hospital he was later discharged.
“The hospital cared for all three of my family members during the pandemic. Although my brother-in-law is now progressing amazingly and is back in the swing of daily life, there was a time when we were all greatly concerned about what the future held for him.
“He cannot speak highly enough of West Suffolk Hospital’s critical care unit. They did their upmost to make him feel safe, reassured and cared for, during one of the scariest times of all of our lives,” said the 30-year-old, who also works part time with Daniel, 34, at his outboard engine business in Soham.
“I would love to be able to raise some money to help say thank you for all of the care my family received and to show my appreciation to the unit for keeping my brother-in-law safe. We, as a family, cannot thank them enough. He is doing amazingly well now. My dad has done the Three Peaks twice and I really wanted to do it to raise money for My WiSH Charity which does so much great work for the hospital.
Her 32-year-old husband is acting as driver for the couple assisted by family friend Will Affleck, who both play for Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club.
Michaela, who lives in Thetford, added: “They are an important part of the challenge to ensure they get us from one place to the other while we are resting. I thought it would be such a nice thing for me and my father to do together to help repay the hospital in some way and would be such an achievement to complete the challenge.”
They have currently raised over £700 but want to reach the £1,000 mark and have been training hard including regularly climbing the steep Castle Hill, in Thetford, which has 89 steps.
“It has been perfect for us as and I have also been doing exercises from the Joe Wicks programme, said Michaela.
Sally Daniels, fundraising manager, met the pair on Castle Hill and said: “We can’t thank Michaela and Paul enough for taking on this challenge. The training they’ve been putting in is intense, climbing this hill once is tough let alone numerous times in one go! The family have been through a tough year but this is a fantastic tribute to their grandparents and to the care they all received at their local hospital.”
To support the pair go to their fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/michaela-cooper1
Pictured above are Michaela Cooper with her father Paul Sims at the top of Castle Hill, in Thetford.