Me, my partner and five members of our family took part in the Mount Snowdon Day Walk in memory of my late mother, Barbara Marren. Sadly, she died on 30 October 2012.
Our main inspiration for the trek came from my eldest daughter, Jayne. Jayne had previously written obituaries for her grandfather and father. In her grandmother’s case, she couldn't seem to find the words. She had heard about www.justgiving.com which is a charity fundraising website. She had also seen Epilepsy Action’s Mount Snowdon Day Walk event. She thought this was quite an appropriate way to remember Mum, which we all agreed with.
Mum had had epilepsy for 40 years, which was managed well with medication and support from her family. Sadly, before her death she experienced quite a few major seizures, which distressed us all immensely. It brought to our attention just how many people must be living with seizures in the same way. We thought it was time for action – and the Mount Snowdon Day Walk offered the perfect opportunity!
Mum was born in Wales, so walking up Snowdon seemed fitting. We all enjoy the outdoor life, walking especially. When we arrived at our meeting point on the Sunday, we were surprised to see such a small group of people participating. This only highlighted the fact that epilepsy as a condition is not widely supported.
We were heartened to meet Kyle, an 18-year-old who was living with epilepsy and who was taking part on his own. We also met a 14-year-old lad who was accompanied by his father. The group as a whole were a great bunch! Chris was our walking guide for the day. He was very knowledgeable about Snowdon and the surrounding area and very supportive during our walk.
We climbed the route called the ‘Pyg track’ on the way up Mount Snowdon. Chris wanted us to come down a different way, though – along the Miners’ track. He wanted us to enjoy seeing the Snowdon Horseshoe, one of the most famous ridge walks in Wales. He did think we may be a little daunted by climbing Crib Goch, however – a ‘knife-edge’ ridge with steep drops but beautiful views!
The weather that day couldn't have been more perfect. We had all packed items appropriate for the trek but mainly for cold conditions. Although we packed it, we never thought we would need the sun cream! The trek was a little tough at times, but worth every step. The views were stunning, especially at the summit.
Once we reached the summit, we all donned our pink berets in Mum's memory. Mum had a favorite pink beret, which matched her coat. She would tell everyone: “I bought this for five pounds from Harrods." We also tucked into our Ardennes pate rolls and Mr Kipling cakes, again some of her favourite things. We think this was the first time Mum had trekked up Snowdon – since she came with us in the form of a photo!
Our descent was just as stunning as our climb. There were a few weary legs, but it was certainly a day to remember. Good company, good weather, good memories and – above all – a good cause.
Are you inspired by Vicky’s story? Why not follow in her footsteps and trek for epilepsy. You can register your interest online or call the fundraising team on +44 0113 210 880