Olivia from Teddington to complete Mount Kilimanjaro challenge together with two other seriously ill young people, to raise funds for Rays of Sunshine children’s charity
On Sunday 18th October, 15-year-old Olivia Bradburn from Teddington, will be taking on a Mount Kilimanjaro challenge to raise vital funds for Rays of Sunshine, a children’s charity that brightens the lives of seriously ill children and young people. Alongside two other seriously ill young people, the aim is to raise at least £7,000 for the challenge, as a part of the charity’s ‘Rays and Shine’ fundraising initiative.
Olivia was born with a rare liver disease called Biliary Atresia and had a liver transplant at just seven months old. Since then, she has undergone several major surgeries, must make regular trips to the hospital and still endures many health complications. However, this hasn’t stopped Olivia’s determined spirit, and she has decided to take on this mammoth challenge together with two other seriously ill young people.
In 2014, Rays of Sunshine granted Olivia’s wish to meet Winter the Dolphin in Florida. Now, Olivia wants to give something back to the charity that gave her such an incredible experience. The challenge involves taking on a huge 37-mile trek on inclined treadmills, to replicate the height of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Olivia is one member of the climbing trio; Joe Lunn, who is 18 years old and from Mitcham, and Hannah Phillips, who is 25 years old and from Lewisham, are taking it on with her. Joe is currently battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer called Metastatic Synovial Sarcoma and has decided to take on this challenge whilst undergoing a gruelling round of treatment. Rays of Sunshine granted his greatest wish to meet his sporting idol, Rory McIlroy last year.
Hannah was born prematurely and at less than a year old, was diagnosed with an incurable heart disease called Complicated Ebstein’s Anomaly. She underwent open-heart surgery at age nine, and has had several major surgeries since, including a pacemaker implantation. Rays of Sunshine granted Hannah’s greatest wish to meet Jessie J in 2014, and the trio are pushing themselves to complete this challenge and help Rays of Sunshine continue their work.
Commenting ahead of the challenge, Olivia said: “The happiness Rays of Sunshine bring and the experiences they give to children and their families are beyond imaginable. I am so excited to do this challenge and continue to give back and raise awareness for them.”
Rays of Sunshine brightens the lives of seriously ill children aged three to 18 across the UK by granting their greatest wishes and providing ongoing support within hospitals. During the Covid pandemic, the charity has continued to offer support and its services to seriously ill children when they need it the most. For more information, please visit: www.raysofsunshine.org.uk
To donate to Hannah, Joe and Olivia’s challenge and support their challenge, visit their JustGiving page here.