By Tatiana Aversa Sanchez
A student at Varndean College in Brighton has raised £725 to fund a trip to Africa.
Hannah Fox was offered this journey of a lifetime by a charity called Journey of a Lifetime Trust.
The trust gives young people between the ages of 14 and 21, who have faced significant disadvantages in their lives, the chance to go on a journey that will have a lasting and positive impact on them.
She said: “A few months ago I was nominated by an additional support teacher from my college to be put forward for this Journey of a Lifetime to Africa.
“I was (and still am!) absolutely amazed to receive the news that I had made it down to the final 24 candidates and felt honoured to be chosen to go on this incredible journey.”
In 2009 she had a rare neurological disorder called idiopathic intracranial hypertension diagnosed. It affects 1 in 100,000 people.
This required frequent admission to hospitals and an extensive treatment plan including 38 lumbar punctures, 5 shunt surgeries, intracranial pressure monitoring (ICP) monitoring and 60 tablets a day for a year.
She said: “Despite this, and having certain caring responsibilities within my family, I continued with my studies for my GCSEs at home and sat some of them while an inpatient in hospital.
“This enabled me to progress to study A levels at Varndean College and hopefully go to university and pursue my goal of becoming a speech and language therapist in September.
“In my first year at college I lost someone very dear to me which has changed my outlook on life and has made me realise how important it is to pursue every opportunity life has to offer you and that despite hardship you can achieve the unachievable.
“The journey will be challenging yet rewarding and I look forward to experiencing different cultures and witnessing wildlife in their natural habitat, learning valuable life skills which I can apply to my own life as well as making long-lasting friendships with others who have had similar life experiences.”
Before the journey, each young person has to raise at least £650 for the Journey of a Lifetime Trust.
Hannah’s fundraising consisted of her doing an eight-mile sponsored walk from Rottingdean Beach to Carats Café in Southwick on Sunday 13 April dressed in a safari animal onesie.
She said: “I want to thank everyone who has helped me get to this point.”
The four-week journey will consist of travelling through South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zambia.
The Journey of a Lifetime Trust has given many disadvantaged teenagers their own journey of a lifetime over the past 25 years.
To read more about Hannah’s journey of a lifetime, visit http://www.justgiving.com/Hannah-Fox2.