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Hannah Brandon

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Hannah Brandon

Hannah Brandon

I did it for my brother, for Headway, but also for myself.

After Hannah Brandon's brother suffered a brain haemorrhage in August 2017, she decided to take on an epic challenge to raise funds for Headway and support other families going through similar experiences. We caught up with our Fundraiser of the Month to find out what it’s really like to trek The Great Wall of China.

So tell us Hannah, what inspired you to take on the Great Wall of China Trek?

In August 2017, my brother suffered a brain haemorrhage, aged 43.  During his recovery I spent many days in various hospitals and it opened up my eyes to the effects of brain injury. 

If I was to be completely honest I did this challenge for my brother, for Headway, but also for myself. Seeing my brother’s life change so massively had a big impact on me and having the trek to use as a focus to keep fit and keep my mind healthy kept me going when things were really, really tough.

How did you prepare for the challenge?

When I signed up I enjoyed the odd weekend stroll, but that mostly involved walking to the pub for a cheeky pint. So I had a long way to go...

I started by doing one hour walks every Saturday and then building it up, until I eventually managed eight hours. When you focus on something, it’s amazing how determined you become even when you are bored, wet, tired, aching and ready to stop!

How did you fundraise for the trip?

Most of my fundraising came from the pure generosity of people sponsoring me. People around me knew what it meant to me and were very supportive and giving. I also put some collections tins provided by Headway in local places where people knew me and my family.

What was your favourite part of the experience?

Standing on the Great Wall of China, listening to the silence, looking out for miles onto some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. It made me appreciate everything I have; it was quite a profound feeling.

Did you encounter any challenges?

I found day five of the trek very challenging. There were thousands of steps and my legs didn’t want to do anymore, they were beyond tired! But my mental determination kicked in and the new friends I had made spurred me on.

What is your lasting impression of the trek?

Everyone was there for the same reason, to raise money for charities and enjoy the experience. I signed up alone but came away with genuine new friends and experiences I will never forget!

Hannah raised an incredible, £3,388.48, for Headway by taking part in the trek.

If you are interested in taking part in the 2019 Great Wall of China Trek for Headway email for an information pack.   


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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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