At Smile Train, we wouldn’t be able to carry out the life-changing work we do across the world without the incredible support from our dedicated family of UK supporters, who go above and beyond to raise money which helps change the lives of those born with clefts around the world.
For this month’s column, we wanted to shine a light on one of our long-term supporters and member of Smile Train UK’s Cleft Community Advisory Council, Sue Maughan, who recently embarked on a remarkable adventure, scaling the heights of Machu Picchu in support of Smile Train UK.
As someone who is personally connected to cleft – her son was born with a cleft 14 years ago – Sue’s dedication to raising money for Smile Train is incredibly admirable. In this column, we’ll delve into Sue’s incredible journey to Machu Picchu, highlighting the motivations behind her climb and the meaningful impact it had on cleft-affected children around the world.
Sue had always wanted to see Machu Picchu in person so when the idea of taking on the challenge whilst raising money for Smile Train popped into her head, it was a no brainer.
Having previously completed Everest Base Camp and Mount Kilimanjaro for Smile Train, Sue had tackled altitude before, but that didn’t make the challenge any easier. She recalls:
“The effects of altitude can challenge the fittest of trekkers. It can take your breath away after just a few yards, cause your head to bang, and make your stomach turn at the sight of the delicious food that is presented to you every few hours.
“At these times, the thought of letting down those who have sponsored you keeps you going, and once you enter through the Sun Gate and see Machu Picchu from afar and take in the enormousness of this sacred site, it is all worthwhile.”
Sue and her friends, Simone, and Samantha combined their trek with a visit to Smile Train partner hospital in Lima which gave them the opportunity to speak with parents of children who were about to undergo surgery.
When reflecting on her experience, Sue recalls:
“It was especially emotional for me, as all the fears the mothers had in handing over their precious child to the care of a surgeon were the same feelings I had when passing over my son to the doctors in the UK 14 years ago.”
Through their tremendous challenge, Sue, Simone, and Samantha have raised an incredible £4,409 for Smile Train UK – helping to change the world, one smile at a time.
So thank you to Sue, Simone & Samantha for all your support. Every day we are blown away by the incredible challenges our UK supporters take on and can’t wait to see what’s next!