Hartlepool trekker Gemma reaches funding milestone

ADVENTURE TIME: Hartlepool woman Gemma Hanna, who is planning to trek across a glacier in Iceland
ADVENTURE TIME: Hartlepool woman Gemma Hanna, who is planning to trek across a glacier in Iceland

A HARTLEPOOL woman has reached a milestone as she prepares for a fundraising trek across a glacier.

Gemma Hanna, 33, will head to Iceland for an eight-day fundraising mission which starts from July 1, this year.

She was told she had to have 80 per cent of the trek paid for by now, and she has reached her total.

She has also hired a personal trainer to get her into shape for her journey which will involved walking along a glacier in her bid to raise £5,000 for a charity called Action Duchenne.

During the adventure, she and a friend Clair Hebbron will reach heights of 3,600ft and will be camping each night despite the extreme cold.

But for Gemma, it’s an important challenge as she continues her bid to support one of her relatives.

Gemma is the aunt of five-year-old Luke Malcolmson, who suffers from a muscular condition called Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The condition causes muscles to progressively weaken because the muscle cells break down and are gradually lost. The condition that Luke suffers from is quite rare. It affects just one in 3,500 males born in the UK. It could leave the youngster unable to walk by the time he is just 10 years old. It is a currently incurable disorder which causes muscle degeneration and eventual death.

But the battle against Duchenne muscular dystrophy is being waged strongly in Hartlepool.

Ever since Luke was diagnosed at just 18 months old, his family have dedicated much of their life to raising funds to find a cure.

Last year, Gemma raised more than £40,000 by walking along the Great Wall of China and tackling the Great North Run.

She is helping the cause further by planning the Icelandic adventure in which she will set off from Landmannalaugar.

She said: “We have raised the money for our trek and now we are getting on with the training. We are also still taking sponsors.”

Gemma urged anyone wanting to support her to visit the Action Duchenne muscular dystrophy website at www. actionduchenne.org to make a donation.

To find out more about the cause, contact 0208 5569955. People can also support the two women by visiting htps://www.justgiving. com/Clair-Gemma2015