‘I want to make my mum proud’

Hannah Sylvester
Hannah Sylvester

A Bridlington teenager is to walk the Great Wall of China in memory of her mother who died of breast cancer when she was only 13 years old.

Hannah Sylvester, 19, has been inspired to do the walk after she lost her mother, Gwen Sylvester, and wants to “make her proud”.

Hannah and her mum Gwen Sylvester

Hannah and her mum Gwen Sylvester

She is able to embark on the nine-day trip, between 3 and 11 October, thanks to applying to The Sun on Sunday’s Fabulous Magazine competition working in conjunction with breast cancer charity Coppafeel.

Hannah said: “It was really hard at such a young age to lose such an instrumental person in your life but my older sisters have been fantastic.

“My mum worked hard all of the time to look after me as she was a single parent and she always made sure I was happy. I miss her a lot and it’s hard when I have things I wish I could tell her about, like this walk, because I know she’d be as excited as I am.”

Not only will Hannah be joined by 25 competition winners, but also members of pop band Union J with George, Jaymi and JJ taking part.

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

She said: “It is great that members of Union J are helping to raise money for such a fantastic cause. I am going to see them at a gig in Manchester on Saturday with my niece so it will be good to see them on and off stage.”

The journey will see participants traverse some of the most challenging and arduous stretches of the iconic Great Wall.

Hannah said: “To go to the Great Wall is something I am really looking forward to. It will be a great experience for me to travel to such a landmark and do the experience with others who are passionate about raising money for the same charity.

“I am just so happy that I can now make a difference and do something to make my mum proud.

“I have done nothing of this scale before and I think now is the time for me to help raise money for such a special charity which helps save lives.”

Coppafeel is a charity whose mission is to stamp out the late detection of breast cancer. Now Hannah wants to send out a simple but important message to women.

“It is vital that women find breast cancer early as a late diagnosis could determine your life expectancy. I would encourage any woman to keep a regular check on their breasts to make sure others do not have to go through the same experience as we had to.”

Hannah lives in Bridlington with her sister Sally on St John’s Street and has lived there all her life.

The former Headlands School pupil has raised £110 so far into her target of £3,250 and she is appealing for the public’s support in aiding something which is close to her heart.

She is currently organising fundraising events in Bridlington including a band night and raffle which are taking place at Headlands School studio on Thursday 14 May at 6pm. Admission is £2 on the door to see Hannah and others performing with all proceeds going towards her total.

People can donate now through Hannah’s online fundraising page at www.greatwallcoppafeel.everydayhero.com/uk/hannah.