A FAMILY’S Chinese adventure in memory of their mum helped raise £77,000 for charity.
Brothers Alan and Ian Sutheran and their sister, Lynne Dutton, from Hartlepool, spent five days walking 100 miles along the Great Wall of China to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Their mum, Sheila Sutheran, died of the disease in 2008, aged 67.
Since then Lynne, Alan and Ian have taken part in various fundraising activities, including completing the Inca Trail in Machu Picchu, Peru, last September.
Lynne, 48, a nurse who lives in the Rossmere area of Hartlepool, said: “Mum had a very rapid form of the disease, but life expectancy is short usually and this is why it is so important for us to help to find a cure through vital research and to help support those and their families who are living with it.
“We arrived back in England to learn we had raised £77,000 from our recent trek.
“There was a smaller group this time, only 18 of us. The camaraderie was still brilliant and our common interest was we had all been touched by this terrible disease.”
It was a picturesque, once-in-a-lifetime experience for the trio, but it was still a gruelling week as they marched for seven hours a day in sweltering heat while still recovering from jet lag after a 13-hour flight.
Lynne said: “The accommodation was basic, often Chinese-style lodges which were chosen for their proximity to the wall and our trek.
“The Chinese hospitality was warm and friendly and they are, and rightly so, very proud of their country and the amazing sights it has to offer.
“We tried to carry as light a pack as possible as the climbs were very steep and often very narrow on the older parts of the wall and uneven underfoot, at times, there were sheer drops and no sides to the wall.
“We were emotional, elated and very proud to achieve what we have done. The Chinese have a saying that you are not a hero till you have climbed the Great Wall.”
They are now planning on doing the Great North Walk on Sunday, July 10, which sets off from Pinchinthorpe, near Guisborough.
To donate to the family’s cause call Lynne on 07988 066115 or log onto www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and select the link at the bottom of this story.