High and mighty

June 28 2024

Hazel is afraid of heights, ‘even climbing my loft ladder’. Read on to find out what she’s tackling as a charity challenge for Livability, on the eve of her 77th birthday …

Tell us about your birthday challenge, Hazel
I’m climbing the roof of London’s O2 dome in August, to raise money for Livability Icanho. And it’s four days before my 77th birthday. I’m saying it’s my last challenge but I did actually say that before I did a bungee jump in New Zealand!


An interesting choice if you don’t like heights?
No, I really don’t, I’m terrified of heights. If I’d known how awful the bungee jump was before I did it, I wouldn’t have done it! But we’re clipped on, so it’s not like there’s a risk to life!

Why are you putting yourself through this?
It’s for Livability Icanho, where my husband Dave was treated after he had three strokes in 2021. When he’d finished physio, soon after the strokes, there was just nothing for him. He had lost use of his right arm and he is right-handed. It was quite traumatic and I had no support myself.

> Visit https://icanho.org.uk/ for more on our specialist brain injury rehabilitation centre


How did you find out about Livability Icanho?
Dave was signposted to a memory clinic, and right at the end of the session, the woman running it asked if we’d heard of Icanho, as she thought it might help Dave. She referred us and Dave had nine months of treatment there.

What difference did it make to you both?
It was wonderful – absolutely lovely. People were so welcoming and the atmosphere is so positive. Dave gained a lot of self-confidence and it was mentally and physically good for him. Being at Icanho changed everything for the better. Dave surprises me now because he can sometimes lift the shopping from Tesco!

Do you have to train for the O2 Challenge?
No, or if you do, nobody’s told me!

How are you feeling about the climb, ahead of time?
I’m excited but I’ve got butterflies. It’s 52 metres high and it takes one-and-half hours. You can take photos from a platform at the top – I’m scared about that bit too, and about coming down again. But I’m motivated because I’ve seen people do it and it’s nice to raise money for Icanho.

On the big day, is anyone cheering you on?
Dave, myself and a girlfriend are going to London by train and my daughter is meeting us there. They will all be watching. Dave is very proud of what I’m doing for Icanho. (When I did the bungee jump, he said he’d give me the money himself, rather than me do it!)

And when you’re back on solid earth again, what will you do?
If I make it up and then down again, it’s a celebratory drink and a late lunch – I won’t be able to eat beforehand!

You can support Hazel to reach her £500 goal for Livability Icanho. Click here!


Read More Articles:

Next article:
Winning at work: Lucy’s story

Time for a new phone cover image?
Why not run for #TeamLivability at the London Marathon?

  • Training support and fundraising pack
  • Kerb crews on M-day to cheer you along
  • Post-run party complete with masseurs