Brave Ribble Valley nurse marking 40th by trekking Great Wall of China in memory of parents

Melissa getting in some training
Melissa getting in some training

A nurse from Sawley is preparing to trek the Great Wall of China in memory of her parents who she lost to cancer within a year.

Brave Melissa O'Rourke will tackle the longest man-made structure in the world, including trekking on un-renovated sections of the wall, to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Melissa and her parents

Melissa and her parents

She said: "Twelve years ago I lost my dad Albert Marsden followed by my mum Anne within a year to cancer.

"I celebrated my 40th in May so to mark my birthday I will be leaving my family, friends and comfort zone for nine days to trek the Great Wall of China over the Chinese mountains. I don’t want any gifts for my 40th, just donations to help find a cure.

"I will be trekking for around four to seven hours per day, exposed to the elements, rain, wind or sunshine along the wall. I expect the terrain will be tricky as I will be taking on sections at height with drops at either side.

"I did the Great North Run for Macmillan 10 years ago but nothing on this scale."

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The Great Wall of China is the collective name of a series of fortification systems generally built across the historical northern borders of China to protect and consolidate territories of Chinese states and empires against various nomadic groups of the steppe.

The 5,500 miles of wall consists of trenches, hills and rivers built by dynasties beginning in 476 BC towering to defend against nomadic tribes from the north.