A woman has completed the Three Peaks Challenge to raise more than £3,500 for the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre.

Sophie Murray, along with her friend Lucy, climbed Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon in an impressive 23 hours and three minutes on 5 September.

She took on the trek for the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and the Hospital Charity after her mum benefited from the Lynda Jackson service’s “massive support” during chemotherapy treatment, having been diagnosed with breast cancer last summer.

Now back on flatter ground, Sophie said: “It was so incredibly hard but an incredible and amazing experience reaching the top. I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has supported me and donated to the charity.

“It means so much to me and my mum and will make such an incredible difference.

PHOTOS: Sophie Murray (top, and above with friend Lucy), tackled the Three Peaks Challenge in just over 23 hours.

Sophie kindly took the time to tell her story about her Mum's cancer diagnosis and treatment

When a loved one is first diagnosed, it is incredibly difficult to express the volume of emotions you feel and go through; disbelief, anger, guilt and great sadness, questioning why?

To have to watch a parent suffer and go through a painful and arduous processes is one of the most difficult things my brother and I and many others, will ever have to face. Just as my Mum was diagnosed, I was preparing myself for my first year at University and I hated the thought of leaving her behind. I wanted to be with her to make sure she was well and ok.

Before she began treatment, and as a part of my Mum’s induction process, she visited the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre, within Mount Vernon Hospital. They guided her through the process of where to go, what to do and what will happen. They answered all possible questions, anything and everything. She also met other patients who would be beginning treatment around the same time and most importantly, they would be going through the same experiences and emotions as her. To this day, she still has kept in contact with friends from the centre, which is in itself a great support.

My mum has especially benefitted from the Complementary Therapy support that they provide among many other services. When fears such as hair loss came close, they guided my mum through what could happen and when, and provide free sessions where she could go and learn how to style headscarves and be confident in her new body. Throughout the process the staff have been so incredibly kind and it is with the knowledge of having them as a support if she needed that I was able to go to university.

My Mum is an incredibly strong and brave woman, never-the-less, her journey would not have been the same without the support from Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, in particular the Lynda Jackson Centre, and for that I am eternally grateful. It is for this reason that I recently tackled the Three Peaks Challenge and  raised over £3,500, so that they are able to continue to the great work and support that they already provide for so many people.

Sophie Murray, August 2020