A MOBILE phone shop sales adviser and self-confessed chocoholic made the supreme sacrifice of giving up her favourite treat for a month in aid of charity.
Vicky Tymz says she has such an insatiable sweet tooth that she eats a large quantity of chocolate every day and thinks nothing of substituting a chocolate based dessert for a starter when she goes for a meal out.
And that’s why it has been such a massive challenge for 34-year-old Vicky, who has worked at the 3 Store in Wrexham’s Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre for the past six years, to chuck her beloved chocolate for the entire month of March to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
Vicky, who lives in Rhostyllen near Wrexham, is one of the intrepid choc stars who have signed up for the charity’s DECHOX initiative – a nationwide sponsored challenge to give up chocolate for March in a bid to pile on pounds instead of lbs and support its research programme.
She admits that although it’s been a gut-wrenching test of willpower for a big-time choc lover like herself, she has managed to raise close on £200 in sponsorship from family, friends and work colleagues.
She said: “I absolutely adore all sweet foods but chocolate in particular, which I just can’t ever get enough of.
“I eat quite a bit of it every single day and my current favourite is an American-style delicacy which is peanuts wrapped in chocolate.
“And just to show how bad my love of sweet things is, I went out for a meal last Christmas and instead of a starter ordered a desert of champagne jelly with white chocolate mousse. That didn’t stop me having a second desert of poached pear with chocolate to round off with.
“I do quite a bit to support charity but there’s no point in taking on a challenge if it isn’t tough, so that’s why I decided to give up chocolate for a whole month.”
She added: “On the last day of February just before I started out on DECHOX I ate as much chocolate as I could get hold of, starting with a pain au chocolate for breakfast, then had a chocolate spread sandwich for lunch and a load of chocolate bars for tea. Then I was ready!
“It’s been tough at times and particularly bad missing out on all those chocolate eggs over Easter but I’m now at around £200 in sponsorship money, which is quite a bit more than my original target figure of £50.
“My family and the people at work have given me lots of support and one of the lads at the shop who loves baking even waited until it was my day off to bring in a big chocolate cake he’d made to share around.”
And despite having to miss out on her usual Easter eggs, big-hearted Vicky made sure that others had a proper treat over the holiday.
She explained: “My little godson, Max Buckley from Wrexham, was recently in the children’s ward at Wrexham Maelor Hospital when he was only a month old while they investigated a problem with his digestion.
“That got me thinking that there must be quite a few children in there over Easter who aren’t allowed to eat anything, let alone chocolate, so I came up with the idea of taking lots of toys and art equipment in to them so they can still have some enjoyment.
“Last Christmas I asked people to give me toys instead of presents for myself which I then donated to the local social services for families in need.
“I collected quite a few and even had some over, so I took those as well as some others I’d bought specially along to the hospital, and they were pretty delighted about it.
“I was very happy to do it because although I don’t have any children myself I still love them and my little godson, who is fine now, was given such fantastic treatment in the children’s ward I thought I’d like to do something to help.
“I’ve always been mad on supporting charity and even when I was a kid I raised a few pounds for Comic Relief by walking a carrot on a lead up and down our road for four hours.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “I’d like to congratulate Vicky on her self-discipline. I’m not sure I’d be able to last a whole month without chocolate – but it is in a very good cause.”
To back Vicky’s DECHOX challenge, go to her page at: https://www.justgiving.com/dechox2016victoriatymz/