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Sue’s ‘Walk For Wards’ fundraising has double significance

23 August 2017

Fundraising

Sunday 17 September is the annual Walk For Wards event raising money for wards or departments of choice at Southend Hospital. Sue Hill, 31, from Rayleigh, taking part with her family and raising money for both Rochford Ward and the Special Care Baby Unit.

And, although now in a wheelchair, she isn't letting a little thing like that stop her from completing the 7km (4.3 mile) route that goes from Shoebury to Chalkwell alongside an estimated 200 other people.

Sue lost her mobility in February this year, due to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and is now in a wheelchair, but it means an awful lot to her to take part.

Sue said: "The organisers have said I can complete the 'Walk for Wards' event in my wheelchair and I'll be supported by my amazing family; husband Danny and three children, Josie aged 7, Cooper aged 4 and 19 month old Quinn, who will all be completing the walk with me.

"It's going to be a very special day and is our family's way of thanking the hospital."

It's made all the more special and poignant as it also marks eight years to the day since Sue's beloved Nan, Joan, passed away.

Sue said: "My Nan was being looked after in Rochford Ward, and I was five months pregnant with Nan's first grandchild, that she nicknamed 'Peanut'. The staff on the ward were amazing with Nan, but so supportive to the family as well. My Nan was a massive part of me, and still is - we'll be taking part in 'Nanny Peanut's' memory."

Half of the money raised is also going to the Special Care Baby Unit, where son Cooper was born in 2013 at 29 weeks, weighing just 3lbs 5oz.

Sue said: "We will always be eternally grateful to the amazing team who helped my little miracle get strong enough to come home, and for that I will be forever in their debt. The rollercoaster ride we endured was incredibly difficult and emotional, but our Special Care Baby Unit family were there to support and give us the strength we needed. They always went above and beyond their job and helped us in any way they could.

"They were also amazing towards Josie, my eldest who was just three at the time. But she remembers and even now at 7 years old she still talks fondly about them. You never forget care like that and all these incredible people deserve recognition. This is just our small family way of thanking them.

Sue's already well on the way to raising her £250 target for this year's event, which is sponsored by Adventure Island and Radio Essex. You can donate to Sue's page by visiting: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sue-hill17

Elise Fleetwood, Events & Corporate Relations Manager at the hospital, said: "Each year Walk For Wards is full of people who take the walk to help give something back to the ward or department that helped them or a loved one. It's amazing to see so many people united for their local hospital and a real pleasure to hear the many stories of how the hospital has made a real positive difference in people's lives."

Last year it was a massive 'thank you' to the tune of £14,000 that was spread over 35 wards and departments meaning that whether those taking part in it have walked or rolled their way they'll all be walking tall after their fundraising achievements.

If you are interested in taking part in Walk For Wards this year please contact Southend Hospital's Fundraising team on 01702 385337 or email fundraising@southend.nhs.uk