Severely sight impaired Streatham opera singer returns from inspiring Iceland trek fundraising for RNIB
A severely sight impaired opera singer from Streatham has returned from a five-day trek in Iceland raising thousands for the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
Lizzie Capener arrived back from Iceland on Monday, October 10 after traversing 37km of some of the country’s most treacherous terrain.
So far she has raised around £2,300 for RNIB, which encouraged her throughout her journey.
Lizzie was on the trek with a mixture of more than 30 people with varying visual impairments – some completely blind relying on guides.
“It really made me think about the people that had less vision than me,” said Lizzie.
“It made me think about the future and if things do get worse with me I would love to be like those people.
“Just completely inspiring. No one moaned ever, they just got on with it.
“It was absolutely awesome. It was such a good experience.”
THEY DID IT! Ken, Jan, Alex, Lizzie, Rebecca, Poppy and Rich
The first trek was around 11km long and the group trekked for about 11 hours straight over mountains and across rivers – over makeshift stepping stones guides had prepared for them.
Lizzie stayed in a traditional mountain hut, with around eight people sharing a room – a good opportunity for her to bond with hew fellow fundraisers.
Being with people she got on well with helped her throughout the trek when things got difficult.
Extreme weather changes made the challenge of hiking through the Icelandic landscape even harder.
Lizzie said that sudden hail showers and gale-force winds would interject periods of bright sunshine.
The 35-year-old said: “On Sunday we were walking up the side of the mountain and the wind was so bad that a couple of the blokes had to keep grabbing me because they were worried I was going to get blown off.
“And that was terrifying. Absolutely terrifying”
On that day, a lot of the party turned back, but Lizzie continued on through the precarious environment to the top, where there was a hot spring.
Tenacity is something Lizzie demonstrates in everyday life – juggling training for blind cricket matches, with teaching and fundraising.
She is determined to raise awareness for Retinitis Pigmentosa – a genetic condition which affects her peripheral vision and means she suffers from night blindness.
Now the trek is over she considering working more with visually impaired people through music – drawing from her background as a singer and music teacher.
Following the success of the event, RNIB has launched a second Iceland Trek taking place from September 21-25 2017.
To find out more or to sign up, visit www.rnib.org.uk/icelandtrek
You can donate to Lizzie’s Just Giving page here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Lizzie-Capener
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