Highgate Harrier to trek 100 miles for disabled cousin

Hannah Viner. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Hannah Viner. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

Winter is a time when many are keeping warm indoors, but one gap year student will be walking from Peterborough to Great Ormond Street Hospital and camping along the way.

Hannah Viner, 18, of Belsize Avenue, Belsize Park, is a runner for Highgate Harriers and will be doing the 100-mile trek – called From Posh to GOSH – to raise money for the hospital which cares for her disabled cousin, Cayla.

She will set off on Thursday from Cayla’s Peterborough home and hopes to arrive at Great Ormond Street in Bloomsbury four days later.

Cayla Viner, 14, suffers from a rare condition called pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVM) – a severe respiratory condition which affects less than half a dozen babies worldwide each year.

As a result she must breathe in oxygen for 23 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hannah said: “Great Ormond Street Hospital saved my cousin’s life and is still looking after her more than 14 years later. It is an incredible organisation that is forever transforming children’s lives.”

She added: “Cayla only recently raised enough money to go from using heavy oxygen cylinders to having her own oxygen concentrator backpack – something she must carry around with her at all times when not at home.”

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Hannah has already raised half of her goal of £3,000, but wants to secure more donations.

“I’m really happy with the response as I thought the target was ambitious. I’m hoping people will continue to sponsor me right up to the walk as well as afterwards.

“Highgate Harriers have all been so supportive and my charity walk has been in their newsletter.”

Not content with simply walking the distance, Hannah will be carrying the equivalent weight of Carly’s oxygen backpack.

She said: “By walking and camping in the middle of winter, I aim to show that it is not a fair-weather condition but one that Cayla must deal with all day, every day.”

Explaining the name of her charity walk, Hannah added: “Peterborough Football Club’s nickname is Posh and GOSH stands for Great Ormond Street Hospital.”

She added: “I’ve done no specific training but did some walking over the Christmas period. Hopefully my running experience will help.”

You can donate to Hannah and read more about her cause at justgiving.com/Hannah-Viner