Grandfather's 143-mile Amazon rainforest challenge funds hospice for a day
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A bereaved grandfather has raised more than £7,000 for a Suffolk children's hospice after completing a gruelling 143-mile ultramarathon through the Amazon rainforest.
Nick Edwards, from Laxfield, jetted off to Peru in June 2019 to raise funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
The service had cared for Mr Edwards' grandson, Noah, who tragically died in November 2018 after being diagnosed with a rare genetic liver disorder.
Noah was born to Mr Edwards' step-daughter Lucy Holloway and son-in-law Stuart Finnerty, from Framlingham.
He was treated at The Treehouse, EACH's hospice in Ipswich, before he died a week short of reaching six months old.
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Mr Edwards, 61, described Noah as "the most beautiful little chap" and was determined to raise cash for EACH as a means of thanking the team that cared for his grandson.
As a keen ultramarathon runner, he decided to take on his bravest challenge yet by undertaking a self-sufficient journey through the world's largest rainforest.
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Mr Edwards completed the challenge in 47 hours and 29 minutes and said his memories of Noah helped inspire him to reach the finish line.
He said: "It was a real emotional rollercoaster. I've done a couple of ultramarathons before and they are quite intense.
"Without the inspiration of Noah, I think I might have dipped out.
"The Amazon didn’t disappoint. Throughout the extreme highs and lows of that effort I sensed and felt Noah’s presence.
"Without Noah in my heart I know I certainly wouldn’t have completed it. In my weakest moments, he’d whisper: ‘Go on, grandpa, you got this'."
Mr Edwards ended up raising £7,100 for EACH and will present a cheque for the money to the charity on Friday - what would have been Noah's third birthday.
He added: "I miss Noah terribly, think of him constantly and shed tears often when I hear his name, but I no longer grieve for him. I am at peace and I truly believe, with all my heart, Noah is, too.
"Noah’s passing has shown me that no-one, regardless of income or race, is beyond life’s tragic events.
"To have, in some small way, helped others who are dealing with these life-changing events, albeit for a day, is gratifying."