A fundraiser will weave through steaming lava fields, trek 58km and endure days of camping in rough terrain in honour of her cousin’s twins.
Jodie Hutson, from Thorney is set to face some tough terrain when she heads to Iceland in August to take part in an intense fundraising challenge for Tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association).
But she knows her painful blisters and sore ankles will be nothing compared to the agony her cousin Lauren Smith faced when she knew she’d only be taking one of her identical twin baby girls home.
Ava and Elouise were born in January 2016 - but sadly Elouise did not make it, after being diagnosed with twintwin transfusion syndrome (TTTS).
However, despite being advised to turn Ava’s life support machine off, she is doing well and recently celebrated her first birthday.
“I’ve had moments in my training where I’ve really struggled,” said Jodie, 27. “But Elouise and Ava are always there in my mind.
“A few weekends ago I went for a walk and I was covered in blisters and really fed up. Then I had this feeling come over me, I can’t really explain it, and it urged me to carry on. It went from being a really miserable walk to one of my favourites.
“I wouldn’t say I’m really fit, but I wanted to do something that would be a real challenge for me. I don’t think some of my friends truly understand just how difficult this trek is going to be – it’ll be incredibly hard. But Lauren has to live through the pain of losing Elouise every single day. I don’t want anyone to have to ever go through what she went through.”
Lauren said: “When Ava and Elouise were diagnosed, some of the midwives had never heard of TTTS before. But now almost everyone in our family certainly knows what it is and we hope we can raise awareness of it so more people know what it is.”
Jodie’s has set up a fundraising page for people to sponsor her efforts. For details visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jodie-Hutson
What is TTTS
TTTS is a condition which occurs when blood passes from one twin to the other twin.
It means one baby receives too little blood while the other gets too much. In most cases the donor twin becomes smaller and anaemic.
They also usually have a reduced amount of amniotic fluid and can become ‘stuck’ to the side of the uterus.
The recipient baby becomes bigger and the higher blood volume puts a strain on their heart.