16 challenges in memory of Gaz

23rd May 2017

On 23 May 2003, Rachael's friend Gaz, died in his room at their boarding school. He was only 16


I had been singing in the school choir in the evening and earlier that day asked Gaz if he would be coming to watch, to which he replied he would be.

I was looking out from the stage into the audience to find him but he wasn't there. Little did I know he was suffering from an awful headache and feeling dreadful back in his room.

The next morning, whilst eating my breakfast, the atmosphere was strange, there was something not quite right.  Then it hit me, those words I'll never forget, that ripped my heart right out in front of me, "Gaz is dead".

That day/time was the most horrific day of my life.

People always say, "they always take the good ones", "he was such a wonderful person" - but Gaz really was. He was the funniest guy I knew in school, so loving and he really brightened up my life.

Over the past twelve months I have been raising money and awareness of meningitis, in memory of Gaz. I have travelled to 16 different cities all over the UK to complete these challenges.

 I chose challenges that would test me physically and mentally but also challenges that I think Gaz would have liked to have done if he was still alive today.


I've completed two mud-runs, a colour run, a 16km bike ride, abseiled off Millers Dale bridge, completed two half marathons, zip lined over Snowdonia, completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, a parachute descender, zip lined off Tyne bridge, organised and completed a 16km swim-a-thon, bungee jumped from 160ft and today I complete my last challenge - a Skydive!

I chose 16 challenges because that was the age when Gaz died. I chose a year to complete these challenges because the next time I will go back to the school both me and Gaz went to, will be on Saturday 27 May when I meet Gaz's Dad.

Please help me raise as much as possible by donating here.

You can check out my pictures and videos of all the challenges I've completed in the last year by visiting my Facebook page.

Gaz - you will forever be in my heart."