Letchworth mum to climb Kilimanjaro for ill daughter

Vicky Calderon and her sister-in-law Sadie Stafford have raised more than £4,000 for Great Ormond St

Vicky Calderon and her sister-in-law Sadie Stafford have raised more than £4,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital after Mrs Calderon's daughter Samarlia was born with a life-threatening heart condition - Credit: Archant

A mother who has spent a year raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital after her daughter was born with a life-threatening heart condition is set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa’s highest peak - next week.

Vicky Calderon and her sister-in-law Sadie Stafford have raised more than £4,000 for Great Ormond St

Vicky Calderon and her sister-in-law Sadie Stafford have raised more than £4,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital after Mrs Calderon's daughter Samarlia was born with a life-threatening heart condition - Credit: Archant

Vicky Calderon, of Farm Close in Letchworth GC, and her sister-in-law Sadie Stafford, of Harrowdene in Stevenage, have raised more than £4,000 over the past year for the hospital which saved the life of Mrs Calderon’s daughter, Samarlia.

Mrs Calderon, 32, said: “Samarlia was born with a life-threatening complex congenital heart condition, for which surgery was essential to save her life.

“She also underwent another operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital when she was two years old to replace a valve and repair holes.

“It is possible she will need more surgery as she grows, so we decided to spend a year of our lives pledging to raise as much cash as possible for the charity.”


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The pair have held raffles, bucket collections, school and church fetes, cakes sales, and a fun day in Hitchin, as well as completing a 100km walk from London to Brighton.

About the 100km walk, which they did on Saturday, Ms Stafford, 33, said: “We made it, but it was really tough. We did it in 24 hours.”

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Asked about the response to their fundraising efforts over the past year, she said: “It’s been really amazing. We are so surprised at how generous people have been.”

The duo intend to finish their 12-month fundraising efforts with a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, flying out next Friday, with the climb and descent expected to take six days.

Both women have been training hard for the challenge, with long walks and gym sessions.

Mrs Calderon said: “By doing this climb I’m hoping to raise as much money as i can in order to give something back to an amazing hospital in thanks for all they have done for my family.”

To sponsor the pair, visit www.justgiving.com/vickycalderon or www.justgiving.com/sadiekilimanjaro2014

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