A BIG hearted Solihull resident and her best friend followed an ancient Inca path to raise money for the Stroke Association in order to honour her great uncle.
Elizabeth Ratcliffe and Emily Ball, both 23, gave up their jobs in the marketing department of Birmingham City football club and at a local school and set off on their six-month round the world travels.
Only two weeks into the trip Elizabeth learnt that her 71 yearold great uncle, Dennis Chapman, had suffered from a severe stroke and passed away.
As they were both in New Zealand at the time they could not afford to travel back to his funeral.
Their next stop being Peru they decided to honour him in a slightly different way and booked themselves on a guided trek of the Inca Trail ending in Machu Pichu, raising over £1,200 for the Stroke Association along the way.
“I wanted to put my absence to good use and keep my great uncle’s memory alive. It was very difficult, but knowing it was for him kept us going,” said Elizabeth of the 38 mile trek.
“We had to get used to hiking in such high altitude as it is completely different.”
“I know it sounds cheesy, but it was literally the thought of Great Uncle Dennis that kept us going,” added Emily.
The daring duo’s involvement doesn’t end here, however. Elizabeth and Emily are now hoping to undertake The Stroke Association’s Tree Top Challenge at Wyre Forest in Worcestershire on October 3.
Each year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke.
Strokes are the third biggest killer, and the leading cause of severe disability.
Of all people who suffer from a stroke, about a third are likely to die within the first 10 days, about a third are likely to make a recovery within one month, and about a third are likely to be left disabled, and needing rehabilitation.
A stroke can be diagnosed by using FAST – Facial weakness, Arm weakness, Speech problems, Time to call 999. Strokes are is a medical emergency, call an ambulance straight away.