On 1st June, 9-year-old Maisie Humphreys will be taking on the Aberystwyth Twin Peaks Challenge, to raise money for Tŷ Hafan.

Maisie will be joined by Mum – Cerys, Dad – Andrew and Nel (who will celebrate her first birthday on the day itself!), as well as friends and family members both walking or in the support team, which include Nel’s proud godfather James Scarrott and 10 of Maisie’s school friends from Ysgol Comins Coch.

The Humphrey family at Tŷ Hafan

The challenge

Maisie’s challenge has been 9 months in the making, as she started planning it when Nel was just three months old. The challenge will see the see the group conquer the scenic twin peaks of Aberystwyth – Pen Dinas and Constitution Hill – walking approximately 7.28 miles which includes 900ft of climb!

Training is well underway for the challenge, with Maisie and mum recently starting the Couch to 5k in preparation for their mammoth walk, and Maisie proudly wearing her Tŷ Hafan t-shirt during training.

Maisie shared, “I want to help Tŷ Hafan because they help lots of families like us. Nel needs lots of help with different things, but Tŷ Hafan helps the whole family. The twin peaks will be a big challenge for me, but I will have some of my best friends with me who will keep me going.”

Maisie wearing herTŷ Hafan t-shirt while training.

Maisie told us she loves visiting Tŷ Hafan. She particularly likes how included she feels as Nel receives so much of her treatment far away from home. Maisie has also made friends with other siblings at Tŷ Hafan and is even a pen pal to a sibling with a little sister with the same condition as Nel.

Ysgol Comins Coch has also arranged a fundraising day for the last day of term, where pupils can wear their own clothes and get ice cream, with the suggestion of a small donation towards Maisie’s fundraiser.

Shelley Kirkham, Regional Senior Fundraiser, shared “It’s been an absolute delight to see the passion Maisie has for her fundraising and her desire to help other families like hers. The Humphreys family have had a challenging first year as a family of four and the determination they have had to support other families in a similar situation to theirs is nothing short of amazing.”

Maisie and Nel

Nel’s story

Following a difficult pregnancy, Nel was born in Singleton Hospital on 1st June 2023. When Nel was just five weeks old, the family received the news that she was born with a very rare chromosome disease, Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, which is a life-limiting condition affecting 1 in 50,000 people.

Cerys, Nel’s mother, says:

“Following Nel’s diagnosis, we were catapulted into a world we never knew existed, which includes constant hospital appointments and various agencies involved, and it has all been quite overwhelming at times.

“As a family, we have been separated more times in the last 11 months than ever before, with most of Nel’s appointments, tests and operations being in Cardiff or Swansea, which means many overnight stays for us.

“Since being referred to Tŷ Hafan we have felt part of something very special and all four of us have benefitted greatly from the services they provide. We were aware of Tŷ Hafan from previous charity events we have supported, but naively weren’t fully aware of the work they do and how they support families like us.

“As a family, we have decided to take on various challenges and organise fundraising events to raise as much money as we can. Tŷ Hafan is a beautiful charity that is like a shining light in our darkest times, and we want to ensure they can be that for as many families as possible in the future.”

So, as well as Maisie’s Twin Peaks Challenge, Cerys, Andrew and a group of friends will also be taking on the Welsh 3 Peaks next summer, having been postponed due to Nel’s operations and recovery time.

This Saturday the family will also be joining the crew at Aberystwyth Fire Station for a charity car wash in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity and Tŷ Hafan.

This incredible family has already raised over £1,200, and they’d be very grateful for any donation you’re able to make, here.