This weekend, 17-year-old Arianna, from Buckinghamshire, will be braving the UK’s highest free-falling abseil down the Orbit tower in London’s Olympic Park.
Arianna (who hates heights!) is hoping to raise £1,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK, because her mum has myotonic dystrophy. She said:
“I’ve known about my mum’s muscular dystrophy since I was seven, but it’s hard to wrap my head around. She’s lost mobility, slowly but surely, and I miss being able to do a lot of what I used to with her.
Muscular dystrophy is a scary condition. With no treatment and no cure, it’s a daunting thing to face. So I had my heart set on doing something scary, something I was terrified of, to raise money. I hate heights. I am terrified of them. I have only ever abseiled once and it was about 60 feet. It took me 4 minutes to reach the bottom and I sobbed the entire way down.
So, to up the stakes and encourage people to donate and to truly face my fear, like people living with muscular dystrophy do, I thought ‘Let’s do the UK’s highest free-falling abseil,’ and now it’s happening!
Muscular Dystrophy UK has helped my mum to connect with others with her condition online and learn more about it. It has connected her to people she can talk to and relate to so she feels less alone. Reading through the options available to her are also comforting. And I know she likes that my other mum and I have people to go to with our concerns and experiences, too.
I want to make sure that kids like me, with parents who have a muscle-wasting condition – and anyone affected by muscular dystrophy in any way – can find support, help and a community that understands them.
I’m looking forward to the day, though I am really nervous. I am looking forward to making a difference! I am also looking forward to getting to the bottom. I am terrified and shaky but I am determined to grit my teeth and do this for an amazing cause. I know for a fact I will cry an embarrassing amount but I’ve heard the views are amazing, so I’ve got that to look forward to!”
Best of luck Arianna!