March 8 2014 Latest news:
by Mark Weatherup , Reporter
Saturday, July 30, 2011
The mother of snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan has raised £6,000 for charity after completing “one of the toughest challenges of her life”.
Maria O’Sullivan, of Manor Road, Chigwell walked for 13 days covering a distance of 192 miles which saw her make her way up mountains and along cliff tops.
She was joined by friend Mary Wilson for the trek from West Cumbria to North Yorkshire and she dedicated her efforts to former snooker world number four Paul Hunter, who died in 2006 after a battle with cancer.
The money will be split between Haven House House Children’s Hospice in High Road, Woodford Green and St Francis Hospice in Havering-atte-Bower where Paul spent his final days.
Mrs O’Sullivan said: “It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do in my life.
“It was climbing mountains and walking near sheer drops which was an amazing experience but very hard especially as I’m not great with heights.”
During one ascent, Mrs O’Sullivan, who walked in a group of 12 led by a guide, said she experienced all four seasons in a day.
“We started off and the weather was quite nice but as we got higher the temperature completely dropped,” she explained.
“It started snowing and the near the top there were hail stones the size of golf balls, it was unbelievable.”
Her favourite parts of the trip were the views and the scenery which she described as breathtaking.
She found it tough being away from her family but was spurred on by words of encouragement from son Ronnie.
“We spoke on the phone and he inspired me to carry on marching up mountains,” she said.
“He had a look online at what I was doing and he told me he was very proud.”
She added: “I’d like to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart who supported me and made donations.”
Mrs O’Sullivan is already thinking about her next charity event and is considering taking part in next year’s London to Paris bike ride.
For more information visit www.charitygiving.co.uk/ronniemariaosullivan.