Gap year challenge for teenage survivor of congenital heart defect

Becca Harris, right, promotes her Gap Year Challenge with friend Becky Betts.
Becca Harris, right, promotes her Gap Year Challenge with friend Becky Betts.

A Biggleswade teenager is using her gap year to fundraise for the hospital that saved her life as a baby.

Becca Harris, 18, had a congenital heart defect diagnosed when she was just two years old and she underwent surgery and years of treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London.

The former Stratton Upper School student said: “I cannot explain how grateful I am for the amazing team of medical professionals who I encountered in my time at Great Ormond Street.

“Many other people have experience with congenital heart defects (CHD), and it can be fatal.” Becca will also be raising funds for the Megan’s Smile charity.

She said: “Megan’s Smile is a charity dedicated to a gorgeous little girl who just couldn’t beat CHD.

“That’s why, this year myself and a very good friend are raising money for these two amazing charities. I want to give back, and support the people who saved my life, and are continuing to save others.

“We are going to be doing crazy challenges and awesome events throughout 2016 to raise money.”

Among those is climbing all the stairs in the BT Tower in London which they will attempt on March 5 and hope to raise £500.

Another challenge in the summer is kayaking the length of Lake Windermere in Cumbria.

Becca, who will go to study at the University of Cumbria in September, added: “Without the support of the public, our hard work won’t be worthwhile and we want to smash our targets and give as much money as we can to charity.”

Pictures of Lily Tattoo studio in Biggleswade are running a promotion for a GOSH logo tattoo. For £20, if you want to have the charity logo tattooed, the proceeds will go to Becca’s fundraiser.

Becca added: “Even if a tattoo isn’t your cup of tea, pop into their shop to sponsor us.”

For more details and to donate, visit www.gofundme.com/CHDChallenge