Cyclist takes on challenge of her lifetime
Meningitis and sepsis are diseases that can kill or seriously injure in hours.
That is why a Hurstpierpoint woman tackled a challenge of a lifetime to raise awareness of the diseases.
Charlotte Buchanan, 31, who is a professional trumpeter, has raised more than £2,000 for the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) by cycling across European countries alone.
Her step father, Tony Bradley-Hole, lost his battle to meningitis and sepsis at the end of last year.
He had planned to support her on the trip by following in a camper van.
Charlotte said everything was done to raise awareness of meningitis and sepsis.
She said: “I only recently got in to cycling in the past year or so.
“When a plan gets closer you have a realisation as to how big what you have taken on is.
“It was tough but I suppose remembering why I was doing this challenge helped.”
Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the spinal cord and brain. Sepsis is where the body is fighting a severe infection spread via the bloodstream.
Charlotte flew out to Barcelona where she had began her journey cycling through areas of Europe concluding at Hurstpierpoint.
She had to plan her accommodation each day as she would be unaware on her progress.
She said: “Getting though the challenge of each day and managing to get to where you wanted feels like you have accomplished something.”
The MRF estimate about 3,200 people get bacterial meningitis and associated septicaemia in the UK every year.
These figures, generated over a ten-year period, suggest an average of one in ten people die from the condition.
Responding to messages on social media Charlotte thanked her followers.
She said: “A lot of my posts on Facebook were not just about raising money but awareness.
“I just really hope even if this awareness can prevent one person from going through being unwell then it is all worthwhile. It has been a fantastic adventure.”
Charlotte attended Burgess Hill School for Girls and now lives in London. Her grandparents on her mother’s side live in Hurstpierpoint and on her father’s side in Fletching.