I will be taking part in a charity event over the next few weeks and I’m looking for sponsors! From March 20th until April 4th I will be walking 16k a day with my husky, Fang. That’s 16k a day for 16 days - that's 256k overall - to raise money for the Young Patients' appeal.

This particular appeal strikes a chord with me on both a personal and a professional level. The desire to fund specialist education support and careers advice for patients aged 16-24 to help them keep on top of their studies and work out a career plan that takes their very unique needs into consideration is something that resonates strongly with me. As both a cardiac patient from birth and a higher education professional, I can truly see how beneficial this service would be. On a personal level, 16 years ago when I was a teenager, on 4th April 2006, the Royal Brompton Hospital cardiac surgeons performed life-saving surgery on me. Every little thing that I have done in the last 16 years has been made possible because of them. I am extremely grateful for the work that they do because, without them, I simply wouldn’t be here.

The Royal Brompton and Harefield Charity Young Patients’ appeal needs to raise £75,000. I would really appreciate it if you would sponsor Fang and me on this 16k for 16 days challenge. My initial target is £1000, but I'd love to raise as much as I can. Even if it’s just donating the price of a cup of coffee it will make a huge difference. I can tell you from first hand experience that the work they do is truly remarkable.

20/03/22 - one very muddy pup later we are 16km down, with 240km left to walk!

21/03/22 - up bright and early to walk around a frosty lake in the mist and see the sunrise! 32km down, 224km to go!

22/03/22 - an afternoon walk this time! 48km down, 208km left!

23/03/22 - an early morning walk watching the sunrise across misty fields! Met a few other huskies along our way. 64km down, 192km to go!

24/03/22 - a lovely evening walk. Fang got told off by the tiniest dog - he looks like a wolf but he's incredibly soppy really. 80km down, 176km to go!

25/03/22 - a brisk morning walk. We bumped into one of Fang's friends so much bouncing ensued! 96km down, 160km to go!

26/03/22 - today's walk ended with a dip in the lake for Fang. One happy but soggy dog later we are 112km down, 144km to go!

27/03/22 - officially halfway through! 128km down, 128km to go!

28/03/22 - saw some goats! 144km down, 112km to go!

29/03/22 - we came across lots of (undisturbed) nesting waterfowl today! 160km down, 96km to go!

30/03/22 - Fang got to take his "Team Heart" hi-vis for a spin today! 176km down, 80km to go!

31/03/22 - the snow brought out Fang's Siberian heritage today! 192km down, 64km to go!

01/04/22 - a slight paw injury, but with some love and respite Fang's totally fine! 208km down, 48km to go!

02/04/22 - Fang bumped into his shih tzu friend today, much bouncing ensued. 224km down, 32km to go!

03/04/22 - the penultimate walk!! 240km down, only 16km left!!

04/04/22 - WE DID IT!! 256km in 16 days! Niki Ashby