Our Tower to Tower Heroes cycled, rowed and walked to the point of exhaustion. They battled the weather, faced severe fatigue and sleep deprivation in an attempt to raise awareness of how hard it is to function physically, emotionally and psychologically on limited sleep.

And their sheer determination and dedication has raised an incredible £253,000 – that’s enough to pay for overnight respite stays for 195 local families.

The team of 12, including Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis, and former Stoke City player Rory Delap, dealt with aching muscles, blisters on their hands and feet, and severe sea sickness as they travelled from Paris to London, on bikes, by boat and on foot, over four long days.

Melanie Williams, Head of High Value Partnerships at The Donna Louise, said, “Tower to Tower 2018 was a huge, ‘One in a Million’ challenge. This had never been attempted before and I think we all underestimated just how tough it would be. There were times, on the walk in particular, when we thought there was no way they would all make it.

“But, by their sheer determination and courage, they would pick themselves up, literally off the ground, and keep going. It’s truly the most inspiring thing I’ve ever witnessed.”

On Wednesday 27th June, the team attended a garden party at The Donna Louise to celebrate their fantastic achievement. They were joined by members of the support crew, the main sponsors of the challenge, and some of the families who will benefit from the money they have raised.

The Blakeman family, who are supported by The Donna Louise at home and at the hospice, joined the Tower to Tower team last night to thank them and explain what their support means. Mum, Meghan Blakeman, said, “There must have been times when you wanted to give up, but by not giving up, you didn’t give up on us - so thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

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