A Morpeth resident is getting ready for a great adventure at an iconic location in the USA.
After nearly losing her son Felix – who was born four years ago at the RVI in Newcastle weighing just 1lb 6oz – and having a near-death experience herself as she was seriously ill at the same time, Louiza Caulfield began doing physical challenges to raise money for good causes.
She progressed from 5k and 10k runs and open-water swimming to a skydive and now she will trek the Grand Canyon in Arizona later this month.
The week-long challenge involves walking 10 to 12 miles a day in the deepest parts of the canyon with seven other people and they will make their own meals and camp outside.
Temperatures are expected to be over 40 degrees at times.
Louiza, who has two other children – Theo, eight, and Ruby, seven, with husband Martin – is doing the expedition for Tyneside and Northumberland Mind.
The Stobhill resident said: “After completing the skydive, I was thinking how I would be able to top it and a week later I saw that the same company which did the skydive was advertising the Grand Canyon trek. I signed up for it straightaway.
“My plan was to get in shape like an athlete before leaving for the USA on August 24. It hasn’t turned out that way, but I have managed to do some useful training by going on hikes in the Lake District and the Simonside Hills.
“I do feel a bit nervous because I’ve never slept in a tent before and I’ll be travelling there on my own and then walking with people I will meet for the first time at the start, but I’m also excited to see the beautiful sights of the Grand Canyon and we get to spend a day in Las Vegas after the trek.
“My children are sad that they won’t be able to speak to me during the expedition as there is no phone or internet connection, but they are looking forward to seeing what presents I bring back home.
“They attend Stobhillgate First School and the school has mentioned the trek in its newsletter. The Stobhill Bait sandwich bar is also supporting me by putting a donation tin in the shop.
“I used to work for Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, so I’ve seen first-hand the amazing work the charity does in the area.”
Felix survived after receiving procedures and treatments in the Special Care Baby Unit at the RVI in Newcastle.
Louiza said: “The experience gave me a different perspective on life and I was willing to try things I never would have considered beforehand as I did not do a great deal of physical exercise.”
To make a donation to her online, visit www.justgiving.com/lou-Grandcanyon