Terminally ill Whitworth mum completes her charity walk
A MOTHER-of-two who suffers from a terminal heart condition has completed a 13-mile charity challenge.
Suzanne Preston, 52, was diagnosed with chronic heart failure after surviving two heart attacks in her 30s.
But the former Bacup care home manager said she wouldn’t let ill health put her off raising hundreds of pounds for Haslingden’s Veterans in Communities (VIC).
Mrs Preston completed the Whitworth Skyline Walk inside six hours, and paid tribute to the friends who helped her through.
She said: “I had some really good friends walking with me and that made the journey so much shorter. I didn’t rush the walk; I just had a wonderful day with the best company in the world.”
Mrs Preston, who used to work at Springfield Court in South Street, Bacup, is now an outreach and community development officer at VIC.
She trained for the event by joining in with the charity’s walking group, and was even given a pair of hiking boots and a walking stick by boss Bob Elliott. A combination of dilated cardiomyopathy, flu, pneumonia and heart attacks has left her with a weakened heart, but she praised the ‘unique peer support’ her colleagues in VIC had shown her as she continues to fight her illness.
Mrs Preston, from Whitworth, said: “I was told it was terminal and I had until Christmas.
"But I survived Christmas and as a single mum with two children I had to get back to working full-time. But that did more damage.
“I was able to put my son through university but then went into relapse and, four years ago, started with organ failure because of the medication I was on.
“It was during this major relapse, while I was at rock bottom, that I met Bob Elliott and Darren Horsnell “And I then joined them working to set up VIC. The support from the guys and the passion for the work we were doing gave me a new lease of life.”
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