Gemma White loves a challenge and has set her sights high by signing up for the National Three Peaks alongside Lizzie Jones and Rugby League legends Kevin Sinfield, Barrie McDermott and Terry O’Connor.
Gemma is a close friend of Lizzie’s who is determined to raise as much as she can for the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund, having witnessed at first hand the tragic circumstances of Danny’s death.
Gemma’s husband, Paul White played alongside Danny in that fateful match at London Skolars two years ago, also has her own family experience of losing someone unexpectedly to cardiac disease.
“It broke all our hearts when Danny died and I want to show Lizzie how much we all support her and the charity which has done so much fantastic work in Danny’s memory,” said Gemma, 33, a Customer Service Manager from Halifax.
“My husband, Paul's father was also a Rugby League player who died of the same condition when he was only 34. It is something that is very close to our hearts.
“II want to help and make our children and other people’s children safe when they play sport. It’s such a great cause and I hope people will give us as much support as they can.”
The National Three Peaks Challenge is sponsored by Give Local and involved the ascent and descent of the three highest mountains in the UK, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, in just 24 hours.
Gemma, Barrie, Kevin, Terry, Lizzie and 21 other walkers are aiming to complete the challenge on June 10 and 11, when they can expected to be tested to the limit.
“I haven’t done anything like this before and have had to make sure I’m in shape for it,” said Gemma. “I’m a very competitive person and this is a personal challenge for me.
“So far I’ve been doing work in the gym, I’ve joined a running club and done some fellwalking over a variety of distances and terrains. I’m really looking forward to it!”
Fundraising is going well for Gemma with lots of support from family, friends and work colleagues at Evo Group. She has also hosted a bake sale to bring in more sponsorship and is looking for further backing from as many sources as possible.
“We’ve been told the weather can be tough in the mountains and I know it’s not going to be easy, especially with the lack of sleep from being out and about for such a long time,” added Gemma. “
“However I know we’ll all keep ourselves going and work together to complete the challenge. It's a brilliant opportunity to push myself and be able to say that I have done it. It should be a fantastic weekend.”
If you want to donate to Gemma’s Just Giving page, all donations can be made here and will go towards the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund.