‘I just kept trying to think of my mum’

Jessica Hurley at the summit of one of the mountains
Jessica Hurley at the summit of one of the mountains

A Horsham woman has returned from her trek through the Romanian mountains in memory of her mum.

Jessica Hurley, 29, took part in the CoppaFeel Fabulous Challenge in Transylvania having become involved in the breast cancer charity when she lost her mum, aged just 56, in September 2015.

Jessica said: “I just kept trying to think of my mum.

“I think the thing that really stood out for me from the trek was the way you can go as 60 strangers and people genuinely become friends.

“I finally met some other girls a similar age who also lost their mums which was a huge thing for me.

“Having that is really special.”

Jessica spent seven to 12 hours a day trekking up and down the mountain, sometimes getting as little as four hours sleep between days.

The camaraderie between the walkers played a big factor in overcoming the challenge according to Jessica.

Jessica added that it was great ‘having the opportunity to finally talk to people who understood’.

She said: “We were on the edge of tears probably the whole week.”

Jessica said how knowing what her mum had been through during her treatment for cancer spurred her on to complete the challenge.

She said: “One girl said to me it’s a privilege to have sore feet and aching legs at the end of the day because it means that you’re able to physically do those things that a lot of people can’t.”

The 60 walkers split into equal teams of two with each having a celebrity leader.

Jessica’s team was lead by Tom Fletcher from McFly.

She said: “He was the loveliest person, genuinely, that I’ve ever met.

“If someone was flagging behind he would run to the back and check they were okay.

“He would take other people’s bags if they were struggling.

“He really got to know each of us and about our stories.

“There was a moment when I reached the summit where I was quite teary.

“Tom was the first one to rush over to me. He gave me a big hug and said your mum would be so proud of you.”

Jessica has raised more than £2,500 so far and the challenge has raised in excess £159,000.

To donate visit transylvaniacoppafeel.everydayhero.com/uk/jessica-s-fabulous-challenge-in-transylvania