Volunteers take on Arctic Survival Challenge for DEBRA

Volunteers from across the UK will fly to Sweden this Sunday to take on the Arctic Survival Challenge 2020 to raise money for our #FightEB appeal  – money which could make a real difference to the quality of life for people suffering from the painful skin blistering condition, epidermolysis bullosa (EB).

The team of 9 volunteers have all undergone an intensive training programme over the last 10 months in preparation for living in freezing temperatures in Follinge, just South of the arctic circle. The challenge encompasses an 8-day packed itinerary including cross country skiing thorough forests, ice fishing, snow hole building, constructing tree shelters and crossing frozen lakes.

DEBRA UK Volunteer Mark Club from Stroud comments:

We have trained tirelessly over the last year but it’s nothing compared to the mental and physical challenges people with EB face on a daily basis not to mention the constant pain and itch they experience.  It’s been an incredible journey so far. My fellow team mates have been a tremendous support – each of us have left our comfort zones and discovered anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I’m hoping our trip will raise awareness about  EB and the fantastic work DEBRA UK is doing.

DEBRA Chief Executive Ben Merrett, comments:

Surviving 48 hours in the artic wilderness is an incredible achievement. The determination and tenacity shown by these volunteers is truly inspiring. The money raised from this fantastic challenge will help to find new ways to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of pain, itch, open wounds and mental health difficulties which for those living with EB as part of daily life. I would personally like to thank everyone involved and wish you all the very best of luck. Together we will beat EB.

The additional 8 DEBRA UK volunteers include: Mark Whybrow from Marlow Buckinghamshire, Mark Algar from Teesside, Kim Wallington from Poynton, Will Swift from London, Chris White from Bristol, Rob Sterry from Atlanta and Graeme and Lauren Boanas from Humberside who are videoing the entire trip and will be posting live updates which will be available from DEBRA UK's social media accounts.

All of the volunteers taking part in challenge have a family member or friend who has a form of EB and or work for DEBRA UK.