Rather than following tradition and giving something up for lent, Jess Soanes decided to set herself a fundraising challenge in support of Leeds Hospitals Charity!

Jess was born with a brain condition which means she is a wheelchair user, and for her first challenge is pushing herself 40 miles in 40 days!

This challenge kicks off her year of fundraising as one of our Hospital Heroes, raising funds to support her local NHS hospitals.

Jess wanted to give something back after she was diagnosed with gastroparesis at the end of her first year of university. Gastroparesis is a chronic condition where the stomach cannot empty itself in the normal way, thought to be caused by problems with the stomach’s nerves and muscles.

Last March, Jess was admitted to hospital and put on a feeding tube after struggling to eat and losing a considerable amount of weight.

In January, Jess underwent an operation that meant she could eat normally again and said this has made the world of difference, “When I found out I could have an operation, it gave me a glimmer of hope, when I was first diagnosed, I didn’t know this was an option and I was really struggling. Thanks to the operation, I can now manage the symptoms of my condition and I’m back to some kind of normality.”

Thanks to her amazing fundraising efforts so far, Jess has raised over £300 for Leeds Hospitals Charity and hopes that this will help other patients have access to the best possible care and treatment.

You can donate to Jess’s fundraising page here.

If you want to support your local NHS hospitals in 2021, then you can sign up to become a Hospital Hero here.