Ottery woman to trek in Africa for heart charity

A cardiac nurse who suffered a sudden heart attack is hoping to raise �7,000 for charity with a desert trek in Africa next year.

Marion Baker, 54, from Venn Ottery, wants to walk 100km with the Maasai people through Tanzania for Devon Air Ambulance Trust and ‘Mending Broken Hearts’ next October.

And she is trying as many ways as possible to raise the funds, including a ‘midnight walk’ in Exmouth tonight.

Her daughter Nicola, who took Marion to hospital in May last year when she had the cardiac arrest, is helping her collect as many donations as possible to sell at jumble sales and car boot sales in the following months.

Marion, who has four children and six grandchildren, is also organising a mackerel-fishing trip in Exeter in September, and a fun day in Otterton on Wednesday, August 10.

She said she doesn’t want to have to keep asking people for sponsorship and wants to make as much money as possible from fund-raising events.

Mrs Baker, who had no history of heart problems, said she became very depressed after her heart attack, and has thrown herself into raising money for the air ambulance, and ‘Mending Broken Hearts’, who give support and care to those who have been through what she has.

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But she is under no illusion as to how difficult the challenge she is taking on will be. Entitled the ‘Footsteps of the Maasai’, the week-long trek will begin in the foothills of 2,590m tall Mount Longdio, and then cross the floor of the Great Rift Valley right to the foothills of the Crater Highlands, with the Maasai as guides.

She chose it because she has travelled to meet the Massai people in Kenya before.

Although it will be in October, temperatures are expected to be extremely high, and she has already been training for the conditions by walking in hot weather in Turkey.

You can give donations to Marion on, and if you want any information on any of the events she is running contact her on 07590 915840 or Nicola on 07825 556714.