Two caring fundraisers from Wrexham have embarked on a rigorous training regime to do a sponsored three legged walk.
From now on Chris Lewis and Laura Shone, who work for the Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham will be hopping to it at lunch-times and in their leisure hours to perfect their three legged technique ready for the walk on June 3.
They want to raise as much sponsorship money for Diabetes UK.
Chris’s daughter, Michelle, 25, has Type 1 diabetes, having been diagnosed just a few years ago at the age of 21.
Chris who is an activities coordinator at Pendine Park’s Highfield care home and Laura, a senior care practitioner, both live in nearby Summerhill. So they are even considering stepping up their practice sessions by walking three-legged to work and back as the weather gets better.
“That will be further into spring and summer by which time we’re hoping to be a lot more proficient!” laughed Chris.
She has worked at Pendine Park for six years, and was a member of the care support team until becoming activities coordinator in December.
She said: “I love my job, and seeing our residents enjoy so many fun activities.
“My mind is always in a whirl, thinking of things to do. It was out of the blue one day when I came up with the plan for a three legged walk and luckily Laura volunteered do it with me.”
Laura is recently married to her husband Keiron, who works for a local recruitment firm. She relishes new challenges, though she hasn’t done a three legged walk since school days.
She said: “My husband said he will give us £1 for every lap we do so I’m really determined to go for it, but I think it will take some serious practice and dedication to meet our goal.”
The pair they have set themselves the target of completing 50 laps round the perimeter of the entire seven acres of Pendine Park grounds.
“We haven’t measured it but we reckon that’s quite a lot of miles. But I’m sure we can do it if we put our minds to it,” said Chris. “I’m breaking it down in my mind to 25 laps in the morning, then 25 laps in the afternoon.”
She’s hoping some of the money raised might be used towards buying raised container beds for plants and vegetable growing, so that Highfield residents can enjoy doing some gardening.
She said: “A number of our elderly residents used to get such pleasure out of gardening in younger years so a little raised garden which they could work on would rekindle some of that enjoyment for them.”
Chris and husband, Bryan, have three children grown up children. Their two sons, Michael and Matthew are now settled with partners and each have two children, while daughter Michelle, lives with her parents.
Chris said: “Michelle has had a difficult time over the last few years since we found she had diabetes. It was a shock as she always seemed so healthy, but she started to feel run down and when we went to the doctor a blood test revealed the diabetes. She was taken into hospital straight away.”
Michelle has rallied despite the diagnosis and is determined to still live life to the full, even though she has now to inject herself with insulin daily.
Chris said: “She is very resilient and we are so proud of how she has coped. It has changed her life in many ways, but we are thankful it was caught early and is manageable.
“I would advise anyone who has unusual symptoms or who suspects they maybe diabetic to get checked out straightaway. One of Michelle’s symptoms was a raging thirst, which we didn’t realise until the diagnosis was typical of diabetes.”
It was because of Michelle’s experience that Chris chose Diabetes UK to be one of the beneficiaries of the three-legged walk.
“All we have to do now is encourage as many people as possible to sponsor us and build up our fitness levels in time for the big day,” said Chris.
They are also hoping to enlist the help of Pendine Park residents to make flags which they can wave to support the girls as they walk around the care home grounds.
“Seeing those flags waving and our residents and colleagues cheering is sure to spur us on,” said Chris. “Roll on June 3!”
Highfield manager Tracy Smith said: “I take my hat off to Chris and Laura for taking on this three-legged challenge.
“It’s typical of their caring, selfless approach that they are going the extra mile in aid of such a deserving cause.
“Chris and Laura are great examples of how the ethos of social responsibility and a community-spirited approach is embedded in the DNA of our Pendine people.”