Claire Haddon has spent several years raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK, taking on various challenges including half-marathons and a climb up Snowdon.
After losing both parents to the disease in the space of less than four years, Claire has raised just short of £6,000 for the charity, and is set to continue her efforts by taking on the Great North Run in September.
Claire’s father Colin David Haddon first had the disease and died in January 2014, before her mother, Sandra Yvonne Elizabeth Haddon, died in 2017 having battled with the same disease.
With the disease having such an impact on Claire’s family, the accountant has stepped further out of her comfort zone in trekking to Machu Picchu, in the mountains of Peru, as she continues to raise awareness and money for the cause.
“I saw it on Facebook one day and just decided straight away that I was going to go there.
The trek consisted of more than 35 hours of walking over the course of a five day journey to reach the famous site.
“It was a very good experience. I was very nervous when it came to doing it,” she said.
“I went out with 17 people who I hadn’t met before I got to the airport so that was quite different.
“Every person on the trek has been affected personally or knew someone who had been affected by pancreatic cancer. I got to know people who have endured similar experiences to myself in the past, so we were all in the same boat.
“The group ranged from 14 to 65 years of age.
“Once we got out there, we had an acclimatisation trek to get used to the altitude – we were already about 2,000 feet above sea level on arrival – the highest level we reached was 4400 feet.”
Claire added: “When we got to the sun gate on the Thursday and saw the famous view over Machu Picchu, it made it all worth it – it was absolutely amazing and emotional.
“It was very difficult, some days it became a case of just trying to put one foot in front of the other quite literally. The altitude made it hard – I had daily headaches and one day of feeling nauseous, some of the others weren’t affected much and others were affected a lot more.
“I’m very proud to have done it.
“Not many people can say they’ve done it so I’m very chuffed to have done it.