Jennifer is 32 and has long QT syndrome. In December 2013 she sailed south around Australia from Albany to Brisbane in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – Jennifer has been raising money for CRY and her fundraising total has just hit £5,000.
“My name is Jennifer Hill, I’m 32 and I have long QT syndrome (LQTS).
I was diagnosed in 2011 during an unrelated visit to my GP. I know it is rare to discover an isolated case of LQTS but despite feeling incredibly lucky, the diagnosis was a shock and a scare and I struggled to accept it. I was an active 29 year old and all of a sudden, everything I loved either had to stop or carried new parameters.
At the start of last year, I applied to take part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race. I needed to prove to myself that having LQTS and living with an ICD didn’t have to hold me back – whilst the Clipper race was something I knew about, I had never seriously considered doing it! [www.clipperroundtheworld.com]
Then came the launch of my ‘Clipper for CRY’ campaign: in light of my personal motivations for taking part, I decided that throughout my Clipper journey I would raise awareness of and raise money for CRY.
In the lead up to the race I organised a series of themed events with all proceeds going to CRY. Local businesses and friends were incredibly generous with their time, products and services and all the events were a huge success:
1) ‘Last Team Standing’ fitness challenge
Together with my personal trainer we ran a sports event for members of SW Fitness. In teams, participants ran 5k and then completed an obstacle course, helping each other along the way so that the team finished as a collective. We raised £85.
2) Pure Beauty Pamper Event
Together with my local beauty salon we hosted a private Clipper for CRY event whereby guests received a glass of bubbly, a series of mini beauty treatments and a goody bag. The salon also donated a raffle prize and my friend baked delicious cupcakes that we sold. We raised £245.
3) Hill house pamper event
My mum, my sisters and I hosted an open house pamper event. With support from friends and local businesses we transformed my parents’ home into a luxurious ladies boudoir. Guests could sign up for massages, beauty treatments and hair services, or indulge in bubbles and delicious baked goodies, along with a spot of clothing and jewellery retail therapy. We raised £635.
4) Car Boot Sales
My Clipper race luggage allowance was a mere 20kg, which sounds a lot but doesn’t go far when carrying heavy boots and wet weather gear. I had to be ruthless with my packing and the training taught me well, I soon realised how simply I could live when I really needed to. As a result I decided to de-clutter my flat and sell all my old/unwanted items. Together with a friend we went to two car boot sales. We raised £246.65.
5) Bon Voyage ‘at the heart of the ocean’ Party
To mark my departure and as a way to involve all my friends in my challenge, I hosted a farewell party. The party was themed ‘at the heart of the ocean’ and involved a number of nautical fundraising activities: a nautical dress code, guess the weight of the yacht cake, a silly sailing Polaroid photo experience, Clipper cocktails and a fabulous raffle. We raised £418.
In addition I wore CRY T-shirts whilst on the yacht, placed posters and collection tins in location businesses and set up a virgin money giving page which I circulated amongst friends and fellow Clipper crew. I’m thrilled to have raised £5,000 and hope that there is more that I can do to keep the total rising.”
Jennifer’s story is featured in the Spring 2014 myheart Newsletter Issue 11: http://www.myheart.org.uk/newsletters.