02 Jul Nikki’s Coast to Coast Challenge
Nikki first heard about Bright Red when she was a student nurse, helping out on Ward 33 at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. Since she officially joined the team as a nurse on Ward 33, she says she’s seen first hand how Bright Red has helped the patients and families on her ward:
‘The charity helps to make their time more bearable, especially the patients who are admitted for transplants as they can be isolating in their rooms for around three to four weeks! Bright Red has provided televisions for the cubicles, and helped to decorate the rooms to make them less clinical. But, importantly, the unseen work that they do to help with research is vital to help treat blood cancer.’
Nikki loves her job because of all of the people that she meets, from the patients and their families to the other members of staff. She says that it’s an incredibly busy ward to be working on, but that it is always worthwhile:
‘Even when our patients have had their world turned upside down, they are so resilient and they put so much trust in you that it makes you want to do your utmost for them. I want to make their experience in Ward 33 to be the best that it can be, whether they live or sadly die. It can be extremely emotionally draining when a patient dies, but so exhilarating when others walk back into the ward looking the picture of health having been given the all clear.’
It’s because of her experiences as a nurse that Nikki decided to fundraise for Bright Red for the first time – taking on an epic Coast to Coast cycle ride. Nikki’s 127-mile route will take her from Whitehaven in the Lake District right across the country to St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay – and she’s aiming to complete the challenge in just two days!
She says it’s going to be a feat:
‘There’s about 5,000 feet of climbing to do, and the biggest hill is Hartside Hill – I feel quite ill thinking about it! The training has been hard, especially trying to fit in the time to do it and remain motivated. But if there is any point that I think ‘I can’t do this’, I think about our patients and that spurs me on!’
Nikki’s initial fundraising goal was £250, but she’s already raised double that! Now, she’s just hoping to raise as much money as possible for Bright Red.
If you’d like to donate, check out her fundraising page: