‘Life is tough, but you have to be positive.’ Says Hazel Brooks, grandmother and mother of four, ‘I tried to help myself.’
Hazel’s active life has included adventures as daring as hand-gliding and bungee-jumping, but she has suffered for twenty years with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy, which affects balance and causes a sensation of burning pain in her hands and feet.
Pandemic sadness was exacerbated for Hazel by the tragic loss of her son Tommy Tomlin and her sister, both lost to cancer in the last eighteen months. Tommy of 42 Commando Royal Marines leaves behind his twin sister and another brother and sister and their families.
Hazel says: ‘I worked in mental health for 45 years. I gave some bereavement counselling in that time. The loss of a child is the worst imaginable feeling.’
The sunny view from Hazel’s living room spans from the sea and beach in the south, through Seaford Head to the east and north beyond High and Over.
Hazel praised the community spirit and friendship of her neighbours, ‘Jill bought my attention to Maydaymile and got me started. Richard provided great encouragement and shadowed me on the day in case I lost my balance. Bill managed the sponsorship donations.’
Of the donations she raised, Hazel says: ‘I have never asked for sponsorship before. After a trial run at the distance, I knew I had to challenge myself to achieve this. Life is amazing.’
Source: Choose charity fundraising for positivity and mental wellbeing | RNLI