Annette Newman recently returned from cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia raising £4000 for Epilepsy Research UK. Annette tells us why she chose to fundraise for us.

“On 1st January 2012 my best friends’ only child died after a lifelong battle with epilepsy. He was 14. To say I felt helpless was an understatement, we had gone through everything in life together, as best friends do, since we were 5.  Suddenly she was faced with something that I couldn’t make better, I couldn’t take the pain away and had to watch my friend deal with this tragedy and I couldn’t help.

I wanted to try and channel this grief into something positive and to celebrate Connor’s life. I had epilepsy myself when I was born, luckily I outgrew it after two years, Connor was not so lucky, like many others.

I had done fund raising in the past through marathons, quite a few years ago, so knew I had to do something different to capture people’s imagination and try to raise as much as possible, that’s when the Vietnam to Cambodia bike ride presented itself to me.

I met up with 19 strangers at Heathrow airport and had the most amazing, humbling adventure for 11 days, raising £4,000 in the meantime. We cycled over 400km through rice fields, banana plantations, met with friendly locals, visited the killing fields, floating markets and many more sights, finishing at the temples of Angkor Wat where I tried to find peace for my friend. The trip took me completely outside my comfort zone but also taught me how much compassion there is out there if you’re willing to be open to it. There is still so much more research to be done on epilepsy but £1 by £1 we can make a difference to help beat it”

Our thanks go to Annette for her fantastic support.