A former Blackpool woman who has multiple sclerosis is taking on an epic walking challenge for charity.
Sam Matthews, 42, who grew up in South Shore but now lives on Rastrick, West Yorkshire, is taking part in a sponsored walk on a section of the mammoth Great Wall of China to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Charity.
The mum-of-two was diagnosed with the condition when she was just 15 and since then she has good days and some not-so-good days when she needs to use her wheelchair.
She flies out to China on Saturday September 14 and her walk starts four hours north of Beijing and is a week long challenge, following the winding path along the Yan Mountains to the Gubeikou Gateway, via the famous ‘heavenly staircase’.
Sam said: “I’m looking forward to it but I’m a bit apprehensive at the same time, it’s a real challenge for me.
“I won’t be there with my wheelchair but if I’m not feeling too well there are people there who can help.
“I would just like to thank the people who have sponsored me so far - I have already raised £2,400 and just need to raise the final £600. It’s a cause close to my heart.”
Sam’s sister, Tina Whalley, and their mum, Jean Shaw-Matthews, both live in Knott End, where local businesses Prestige Taxis, Knott End Pet Shop and the town’s Homecare branch have sponsored her.
Anyone who wants to support Sam can send any donations directly to the Multiple Sclerosis charity quoting reference number 1018703 to MS National Centre, 372 Edgware Road, London, NW2 6ND, which then links to Sam’s walk.