A busy mother is planning a 50k charity walk for blind veterans – despite her own health challenges.
Nikki Bailey, 45, from Burgess Hill is taking on the Blind Veterans UK 50K London to Brighton challenge, after completing the 100km walk last year.
The charity supports vision impaired ex-service men and women.
Nikki said: “I enjoyed the event so much last year, I couldn’t resist signing up again this year.”
Nikki is determined to participate even though she suffers from health problems. She has a cholesteotoma, a non cancer tumor, in her right ear which needs surgery every few years.
Earlier this year she had her fourth invasive operation and is still recovering.
“It can be quite a challenge with my immune system acting up, being a mummy and doing every day stuff but I’m one of those people who keeps going no matter what happens.
“I especially wanted to be part of the Blind Veterans UK London to Brighton challenge in their centenary year, so I decided to do a more manageable 50k.
“The first thought I had about Blind Veterans UK was, ‘my gosh, they are wonderful’.
“I feel very strongly about supporting them because of the fabulous work they do.
“My grandfather was in the Army, the bomb disposal unit, and if things had been different he might have needed their support.”
Nikki said she was ‘excited’ to be part of the walk again and was training to be able to finish the walk in 12 hours.
“Last year the walk was incredible; the checkpoints, the people and the encouragements all make a big difference and made it a positive experience.
“Finishing gave me a great sense of achievement, especially with blind veterans congratulating you at the finish.”
The event is Blind Veterans UK’s biggest fundraiser and takes walkers from a starting point in south London, through countryside paths in Surrey and Sussex to the charity’s centre in Brighton.
Nikki added: “I would hate for people not to sign up because they have no one to walk with. There are so many lovely people also participating and it is easy to hook up with other walkers. We’re all in it together!”
The walk takes place on June 6. To support Nikki visit www.justgiving.com/strideontime2015.