Julie McElroy – Overseas Expedition for MS sufferer.
Julie McElroy is a remarkable young lady, who despite her health issues has taken control of her life and se herself many goals. Julie approached The Mickel Fund to seek sponsorship to achieve her dream of crossing one of the highest mountain ranges in the world: the mighty Andes – a tremendous feat. The Mickel Fund through their Hardship Donation were delighted to be able to assist Julie in helping her realise her goal. Julie’s courage and determination are an inspiration to everyone and The Mickel Fund was pleased to have played a part, albeit a small one, in assisting Julie to add another success story to her already numerous remarkable achievements.
Julie is an identical twin. Until Julie begins to walk and talk no one would realise that she has speech impairment and mobility difficulties while Amy is able bodied. Julie is also profoundly deaf and she relies on hearing aids. The reason for this is that Julie has Cerebral Palsy. She was born alongside her twin sister prematurely and doctors said to her parents that she would spend her life in a wheelchair but that has made her more determined to lead an active life without the use of a wheelchair.
In her life she has embarked on challenges and pushed down barriers. Her latest challenge, which was by far her greatest challenge to date, was when she was selected to take part in the third series of Beyond Boundaries as she and nine others found their strength and endurance pushed to the limit as they crossed the Andes. Over a period of four weeks and 400km, these young people had to fight their way from the edge of the Amazon Basin, climb up to over 5000m to reach the snowline on Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world, and then descend down to sea level, wading through miles of swamp before reaching the Pacific Ocean.
Julie McElroy said "The Mickel Fund has made a difference to my plans for the future. The funding they gave me to embark on a Tall Ship voyage in 2006 onboard the Lord Nelson, which is run by Jubilee Sailing Trust, definitely made a difference to myself going on to try more challenging experiences later on in life. Latterly, as one of a team of teenagers chosen for the BBC programme called ‘Across the Andes: Beyond Boundaries’ in 2007. Many more achievements have been accomplished since. It also provided the direct catalyst for me to learn many new skills and embark on ventures along with able bodies peers. Also since the Tall Ship, this has given me the social confidence to make friends from all walks of life around the UK. Thank you to The Mickel Fund for making use of this case in order to display inclusive opportunity".
Find out more at www.juliemcelroy.com