Niamh was part of the gang of six who did everything together for over 12 years, including going to Crete (just before the pandemic) dining out (they loved carveries), visiting local clubs and pubs in Birmingham, or just getting takeaways and enjoying relaxing in each other’s company.
Niamh, Stephanie, Abi, Lauren, Becky and Sian were inseparable since they met at secondary school aged 11. Stephanie Loose described their years of close friendship:
"Our homes were close by one another, and Niamh’s was our second home. We stayed really close, even after moving away from Solihull to different cities for university and work. We never went more than a month without seeing each other, or more than a few days without speaking. Niamh’s condition went undiagnosed for most of her life. She finally found out what the problem was, when she was 18. She had fantastic support from MDUK and we want to give something back in memory of that".
Stephanie applauded her friend, who never let anything stand in front of her dreams.
She was always passionate about travel and wanted to make travel easier for those with disabilities. She managed to get her first job at a travel agency specialising in disabled travel at 18. By 21, she had bought her own flat and was living a very independent life. She travelled the world with her friends, boyfriend and family and, aged 23, had been to more countries than most people would in their lifetime. Most recently she went on a cruise around Central America, and she even had a safari booked in South Africa. She excelled at work, achieving a degree in marketing, while working full-time and freelancing.
"Despite being busy, she always took time for her friends and was the first to remember if something was going on for us."
All newbies for big walks, this is a big challenge for the friends and they needed some serious training.
"None of us are into climbing and we know it is a huge challenge. But we have joked about it in the past and Niamh said she would pay good money to watch us! So we thought we’d make it happen and put the money to a cause which was very important to her."
Charles Horton, MDUK Regional Development Manager - Wales, South West and West Midlands, said:
"I am really touched by the way that Stephanie, Abi, Lauren, Becky and Sian are taking on this huge challenge next year to remember their friend Niamh. They have clearly been a close-knit group of friends for such a long time and it is wonderful that they wish to mark Niamh’s memory in a way that will help others who are affected by muscle-wasting conditions. I wish them good luck with their challenge when the time arrives and thank them for their brilliant support for MDUK".
With 10 months to go before they go climbing, they hope to get lots of support for their Virgin Money Giving page. They are supporting MDUK and another charity.
You can read more about this challenge, and support them here.