A YOUNG arthritis sufferer has vowed to reach her dream of raising a staggering £1m for charity.
Katie Rodd, 22, is one of the 15,000 young people in Britain who endures the pain of juvenile idiopathic arthritis – the childhood form of the disease.
Currently taking a year out from studying a joint honours degree in Drama and English at Edge Hill University, Katie is working at Starkidz Partytime.
The former Stanley High School student, who lives in Southport, was diagnosed when she was a baby and has lived with the condition and chronic pain all her life.
Having raised £7,000 in the last two and a half years, Katie said she now wants to build on that and reach her new target of £1m.
“I know it is really ambitious but I have my whole life to do it – this will take a long time but if we are having fun while we are doing that is all that matters,” said Katie.
“My plan is to start off by offering a number of fundraising activities on a bucket list that people can do with me.
“People can then add their ideas of things we can do to that, too. I just want to raise money, make people happy and make lots of friends.
“In the past I have done white water rafting, abseiling, bungee jumping and that sort of thing to raise money – that is what I want to offer people to do for fundraising activities.
Katie, who has also travelled to India and spent six weeks there teaching and living with a local family, added: “Last year I did a Snowdon trek and we had over 40 people wanting to do it. I want to do that again along with others.
“I am hoping that if I offer these activities that people may want to do it. It will be for all different charities – the bigger ones and the smaller ones. Doing fundraising like this is what I want to do before my body gives up on me and before I am ready to stop.”
Katie said that for her, the ambitious fundraising bug began in 2011 and has taken off from there.
She added: “If I did not have the support I have had over the last couple of years I do not think I would have thought that I could possibly do it.
“With the target of £1m we might only get half of the way there or a quarter of the way there, but whether we make our target or not, it is money for charity. We are also offering fun stuff for people to do in the process so it is win win really.”
Katie said at school she was always a keen fundraiser and said that she likes to give to the charities that help so many people – such as Arthritis Research UK.
However, having good days and bad days, and suffering more in cold weather, Katie said she knows her limits.
If you want to take part and help Katie call her on 07873 632 384.