81-year-old’s Everest trek in memory of niece

81-year-old Alan McKie from Helsby hopes to raise £20,000 for Claire House by taking part in the Everest Base Camp trek in memory of his beloved niece, Isabel (Izzy) McEgan, who died of cancer aged 19.

Claire House supported Izzy, and the money raised will ensure it can continue to support other seriously ill children and teenagers.

The climb was originally scheduled for March last year, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was delayed until March 12, 2022.

Alan said, “We will be forever grateful to the staff at Claire House. Because of their care and dedication, Izzy passed away peacefully at home in her own bed. Claire House made the worse of times more bearable.

“I really wanted to do something to fundraise so Claire House can continue to be there for others, and we thought that there weren’t many challenges bigger than trekking to Everest Base Camp.”

Alan’s grandson, Matt Galley, will also be taking part in the climb. Matt is a Personal Trainer and will be able to provide his grandfather with support and advice during their trek. However, even with company, this will be no easy feat. The trek will take 18 long days and could see temperatures of less than -10C.

Mark Pearson, Claire House event fundraiser, said, “This is a gruelling challenge for anyone and is a testament to Alan and Matt’s strength and dedication. Claire House was there for Izzy, and because of their fundraising, the hospice will be there for other local children and young adults in our community who need our care and support.”

Izzy was diagnosed with stage 4 renal cancer carcinoma, a kind of cancer found in the kidneys, at the age of 19. She received the diagnosis in Summer 2019, during her time as a leader at Camp America and returned home to receive treatment and be cared for by Claire House.

While at the hospice, Izzy and her family received constant care and advice including hydrotherapy and complementary therapies.

During 2020, visitor restrictions were in place due to COVID-19 and Izzy had to be isolated from her family and friends for over two months. She therefore decided she would rather receive end of life care at home.

Unfortunately, over time Izzy’s condition worsened. Her cancer was incurable and on May 10th 2020, after 10 months of treatment, Izzy sadly passed away surrounded by those she loved.

If you would like to make a donation to Alan and Matt’s fundraiser for Claire House, you can do so by visiting their JustGiving page: justgiving.com/fundraising/matt-and-alan

Image: Left panel: Alan McKie and Matt Galley, Right panel: Izzy McEgan

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