Inspirational woman’s coastline walk in memory of daughter

Natalia Spencer with her daughter Elizabeth at Durdle Door
Natalia Spencer with her daughter Elizabeth at Durdle Door

A woman who has almost completed a fundraising walk around the entire coast of Britain in her daughter’s memory is soon to reach East Wittering.

Natalia Spencer, 41, from Cheltenham, took on the 6,000-mile journey to support The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity, after her daughter, Elizabeth, five, passed away last year.

Elizabeth fell ill with a relatively common virus which triggered a rare auto-immune condition. After 18 days on life support, she died on December 10, 2015.

Elizabeth loved the seaside and Natalia realised she felt much closer to her daughter at the coast.

Just six weeks later, on February 14, Natalia set off from Durdle Door in Dorset, the last beach she and Elizabeth visited together.

Since then she has walked more than 6,000 miles around the whole British coastline and is on track to walk from Bognor Regis to East Wittering on Sunday, then on to Hermitage on Monday, with the aim to finish back at Durdle Door on February 7.

Her extraordinary efforts have seen her raise more than her £100,000 fundraising target. She has more than 10,000 followers on Facebook and has been named Endurance Fundraiser of the Year for 2016 by JustGiving.

Natalia said: “Throughout the last year I have been determined to do absolutely everything I can and more to justify the tragic loss of my daughter, and to create a lasting and beautiful celebration of her short, but bright, life on Earth.

“It has been an incredible journey in which I have been touched by the kindness and generosity of so many strangers.

“So much good has come out of my tragedy and I plan to continue my fundraising for Elizabeth’s Footprint with new projects over the coming months.

“I can’t think of a better way to create an amazing legacy for my precious Elizabeth than to help other critically-ill children in the future.”

The funds raised by Natalia will provide vital equipment for Bristol Hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

You can follow Natalia’s journey at elizabethsfootprint.com or on Facebook by searching ‘Elizabeth’s Footprint’. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Natalia-Spencer

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