Tackling the Great Wall for charity

Tracey Pelling is heading for China and the Great Wall
Tracey Pelling is heading for China and the Great Wall

A MUM-of-two who suffers from multiple sclerosis is preparing to trek along the Great Wall of China to raise funds for a charity which helps her.

Tracey Pelling has already tackled the Hastings Half Marathon in aid of the local branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

But, instead of putting her feet up for a well-earned rest, she is getting ready to jet off to the Far East for an even greater challenge.

Mrs Pelling was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) back in 2001 and has suffered a string of major attacks which left her bedridden in hospital and unable to use her hands or legs.

Thankfully, the 48-year-old has recovered each time and has managed a year without any serious problems - leaving her free to pursue her dream of taking on the Great Wall before she reaches 50.

She plans to raise £2,000 for the charity and has always broken the £1,000 barrier thanks to donations left on her website (http://beatms.mssociety.org.uk/NetCommunity/traceystrek).

Speaking to the Observer this week, the intrepid mum said: “It is something I have always wanted to do and I am looking forward to it.

“Although I do not suffer from MS all the time, it is good to know a charity like the MS Society is there when I need it. It does a fantastic job helping people and it is a very worthwhile cause.

“The trek will be a lot of hard work, but I am sure it will be worth it.”

Mrs Pelling will be walking an average of nine hours a day for nine days when she flies east in September, and she is preparing for the mammoth effort by going on local walks three times a week and working on a treadmill at her Silverhill home.

And she says the encouragement she has received from her husband Chris and their two boys, Stephen, 15, and Nicholas, 17, has spurred her on.

“My boys think it is great,” she said. “They saw Karl Pilkington do it on An Idiot Abroad (Sky TV show) and they keep teasing me saying that is what it will be like for me, eating toads and cockroaches. I am planning on taking some biscuits with me just in case.”

All the money raised goes to the local branch of the MS Society and Mrs Pelling has paid for the trip herself.

The 48-year-old is joining volunteers from the local MS branch for an awareness day in Priory Meadow on Thursday (April 24).

She will be collecting donations and chatting about her forthcoming trip - as well as challenging children to pick up chocolate mini eggs with chopsticks.