Emma walks through the pain for Jack 

AN EMERSONS Green woman with a debilitating health condition is taking on a walking challenge to raise money for the hospice that cared for her friend, who died aged 11.

Emma Bate, 20, has myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome.

The long-term condition is characterised by extreme tiredness, sleep problems, physical pain, sickness and dizziness, and difficulties carrying out everyday tasks.

It means Emma tires easily from walking – but she will walk the 13 miles from her home to Children’s Hospice South West at Charlton Farm in Wraxall in memory of her schoolfriend Jack Brookes, who was cared for at the hospice.

Emma is breaking down the walk into seven sections, each taking around an hour to complete, and has completed two so far with mum Philippa.

She hopes to finish the last leg of the walk, ending at Charlton Farm, in September.

Emma’s friend Jack, who had Ewing Sarcoma, was supported by CHSW for a number of years before he died in May 2014.

She said: “Jack was just lovely. He was fun and bubbly and nothing ever fazed him.

“He just got on with life and was a good friend.”

Emma has been training for her challenge by going out for short, regular strolls with her mum.She is using a rollator walking aid on her walks, which she has decorated in bunting along with a special pennant stitched by her mum.

Initially Emma aimed to raise around £200 – but had passed £680 as the Voice went to print.

She said: “I am blown away by how much we have raised so far.

“It will be 10 years since Jack died this year and I wanted to do something special to remember him.”

Emma is also planning to hold a bake sale outside her home on May 12 to bolster her fundraising total.

She said: “The hospice was so wonderful with Jack and his family, and every penny I raise will help to ensure that the services it offers continue to be available to other families in need.

“I am pretty sure he would be thinking that I am mad as a box of frogs doing this challenge, but I also know that he would be there too, cheering me on and telling me to keep going.”

Children’s Hospice South West has been caring for children and young people with life-threatening conditions for over 30 years, providing children’s hospice and professional family support services. 

The charity provides care and support to families living in the South West, who have children with life-limiting conditions.

To support Emma, visit her JustGiving page at tinyurl.com/r5jbsy56.