Siblings win Three Peaks Challenge to benefit children’s cleft palate charity – The Isle Of Thanet News

Adam and Olivia raise money for the charity Smile Train

A 28-year-old woman from Birchington and her brother took up the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the cleft lip and palate charity Smile Train.

Olivia Whitbread, 28, and her brother Adam, 31, raised £2,300 for the charity after hiking Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis – covering 23 miles and 3,064 meters – in 24 hours.

The duo were inspired to raise money on behalf of Smile Train because Olivia was born with a cleft palate, just like Adam’s brother-in-law.

Although Olivia and Adam’s brother-in-law was treated quickly and free of charge by the NHS, the siblings wanted to help other children overseas who are not so lucky and may be struggling physical to eat, breathe, hear and speak.

Olivia, who is studying criminology and forensics at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: ‘We completely underestimated how difficult this was going to be! We had trained with long walks and hit the gym, but the challenge was so much bigger than we imagined.

“But, it was amazing and we were lucky to be with a really supportive group, even though we were the only ones walking for Smile Train.

“Charity is close to our hearts because I had a cleft palate when I was born, just like Adam’s brother-in-law.

“The Three Peaks was something we always wanted to do and when we chose a charity it just felt right to do it for Smile Train.”

Smile Train gives local healthcare professionals, especially in poorer countries, the training, funding and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care in communities where treatment is n is not readily available.

With cleft surgery costing just £150, the couple’s fundraising efforts will cover the cost of more than fifteen life-changing cleft surgeries.

Globally, 1 in 700 babies are born with a cleft lip and/or palate. Children with untreated clefts face physical difficulties eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. Cleft treatment alleviates many of these difficulties, ultimately allowing them to thrive.

Adam and Olivia aren’t done with their fundraising efforts. Next on the list is the London Marathon in October.

Olivia said: “I don’t know how we ended up with such difficult things except that they were on our to-do list and being able to incorporate them into fundraising for charity in worth even more.”

Find Olivia’s fundraiser here

Read more about Smile Train here

Christine E. Phillips