The Journey to Jebel Toubkai (by Sophie Hopkins)
Sophie Hopkins (James Hopkins sister) and her colleague Katie Parker set off from Gatwick airport on the start of a journey to climb to the top of Jebel Toubkal (4,167 m) in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. This sponsored trek raised over £5,500 for us!
I’m told I have a gift for the written word, but when it comes to describing Toubkal, I’m not sure any words will be good enough. I don’t think I’m alone from our group of 16 in thinking that the trek was harder than any of us had imagined. I’m fairly sure that they brushed over just how difficult the terrain would be at points, and when it said ‘some bouldering’, I certainly underestimated what that would mean. The whole climb which took two days as was a mixture of extreme physical and mental endurance but filled with moments of awe, friendship and utter pride that I was raising money for the charity started in my brother’s memory.
Even as I write about my adventure and fundraising experience, it does not seem real. It was, without doubt, one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I definitely think we underestimated how tough it would be; we were perhaps a little naive. But we did it, and I couldn’t be more proud of us.”
Ruby uses James Hopkins Trust and Finn is one of her siblings
Finn and Ruby’s mum Vickie tells the story: We knew Ruby was poorly when I was 19 weeks pregnant, things were not looking good. Ruby has had many hospital stays at Gloucester and Bristol and now is doing extremely well. During this time we have always had the James Hopkins trust to support us. We had a special nurse called Jenny who has visited our house twice a week for over a year, she has come to all of Ruby’s hospital appointments, and stays as well as coming to Finns operation on his legs and was even there when Ruby was christened and we got married which without her we would not have been able to do! Ruby continues to be fed via gastrostomy every 2 hours.
Finn has mild cerebral palsy and has a poor gait which means he is a part-time wheelchair user, he has many difficulties but is a child that will not give up!
Finn was always talking about raising some money for James Hopkins Trust – it was his dream to hand a ‘big cheque’ to a lady from James Hopkins Trust to say thank you for how much their nurse Jenny does for the family.
Finn came up with the idea to self-propel his wheel chair 5km and be sponsored for it! We tried to talk him out of it as he struggles to push himself round the supermarket. After much negotiating we agreed he could do it! Finn trained every day, coming home in pain because of his back, arms or hands, but he did it and raised a stunning £1315.17 – Finn also got his wish to give a ‘big cheque’ to a lady from James Hopkins Trust!