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Charity Titan Zip Wire Challenge, October 2018 by Ann Shaw, Secretary SDN

Titan Zip Wire Blog

Part One

My friend Jess is a very brave person.  She continually pushes the boundaries of what people believe a person living with disabilities can achieve.  She has published 3 books with her mum, Jo.  She has won a gold medal for playing Boccia in the Special Olympics, despite only taking up the sport recently.

Each year she raises money for charity by challenging her mum to take part in something that takes Jo out of her comfort zone.  Last year it was abseiling down the MK Dons’ stadium in Milton Keynes.

I had no idea that I would be so closely involved with this year’s challenge – the Titan Zip Wire Challenge in North Wales.  Jess wanted to raise £1500 to be shared equally between Guide Dogs (for whom she volunteers), Macintyre (they provide care for Jess) and Shropshire Disability Network (SDN).

Jess was bitterly disappointed to learn that she would not be able to take part on the day.  The organisers have strict medical guidelines, and, because of Jess’s eye problem, she found out she would be excluded.  This was where I came in.

Back in February, I think I must have been feeling particularly rash.  When Jo mentioned a zip wire event in October, I signed up straight away.  I also signed my husband Allan up.  If I was doing it, so could he.  At least that was what I thought.

Jess and I both have a ‘thing’ about teddy bears.  Cuddles is her constant companion and my house bears are Murphy and Alf.  They became our mascots – the Three Muskebears.  The idea was that they would take part in the zip wire, tucked down our overalls.

If any of you have seen the video on the Titan Zip Wire website, you will know that participants take part in groups of four.  The search was on for a fourth brave bear.  Maude was found lurking in a charity shop.  She had the sort of face that said, ‘pick me’.  So, I did.

 We decided quite early on that the mascots would wear the colours of each charity – purple for Macintyre, Blue for Guide Dogs, Pink for SDN and orange for Safe Places (part of SDN).  Luckily, I can turn my hand to most things.  I made the t-shirts that the bears would wear on the day.  They all looked very smart.

The following seven months came and went, and, to be honest, I didn’t really think too much about what we were doing in October.  Suddenly, I realised the day was nearly here and I had done nothing to raise any sponsorship money for the three charities.  I soon put that right and was amazed at the generosity of my friends and colleagues.  I’m sure many of them just wanted to see me throw myself down Snowdon.

Two weeks before the big day, Allan backed out.  His fear of heights was too much for him.  He thought that I, too, would chicken out when I was presented with the zip wire.  What would happen next?

 Look out for part 2 of this blog to find out whether I made it.

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