Darren, 38, from Doncaster, is fundraising for the UK’s largest meningitis charity after his daughter Connie contracted the life-threatening disease when she was two years old.
Darren, a Mobile Operations Manager for Network Rail, said, “Connie fell into a coma and her life was hanging in the balance.”
“Because of research funded by charities like Meningitis Now, doctors at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Sheffield Children's Hospital, were able to save her life and limbs.”
This epic walking challenge will see Darren and his friend Stephen Cawthorne take on the challenging terrain of the Yorkshire Wolds Way, leaving from Hessle train station and finishing at Filey station. During the five-day hike, the pair will be walking unaided, without any support team, carrying their camping equipment and supplies.
Darren and Connie’s mum Emma have been together for 11 years, and have another daughter, Neve, 6. Darren told us how meningitis impacted his family, recognising that it was a difficult time for everyone. He said, “It’s always hard to talk about without tears. Today my Connie is a happy, kind and beautiful little girl."
“It was a tough time for the whole family and we’re thankful every day that Connie pulled through.”
Darren is passionate about raising money to help others – previously raising over £1,500 for the Children’s hospital that treated Connie, now 9.
The former soldier is more than up for the challenge and has been training with military precision in the run up to the event; hiking up to ten miles after work, and cycling and running whenever possible.
Darren and Stephen have received lots of support, including from Stephen’s employer ALH Systems, who have provided the pair with hoodies to keep them warm on their early spring hike.
Talking about the hike, Darren said, “I’m very excited about the challenge. I know we’re one of the lucky families, and I’m thankful everyday – that’s why I’m doing this.”
To show your support for Darren, visit his Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/darren-richardson8