As we celebrate 36 years of supporting those affected by Inherited Metabolic Disorders and reflect on the achievements of the charity, we asked our founders, Lesley and Peter Greene, to put into words what Climb means to them today:
(Sometimes we must take a leap into the dark to reach the light)
Who knew when our first child Jen was born in 1978 she had a “rare inherited, incurable, metabolic disease” and our response would be to set up a charity encompassing all metabolic diseases in November 1981?
Who knew, as we stood in the rain outside St Mary’s Nantwich with our tombola stall that the first £72 raised would amount to several million pounds 36 years later?
Who knew that the founding work of our dedicated volunteers would be carried forward, transformed and sustained by the skilled staff who work at Climb HQ today?
Who knew our support would stretch from our base in Cheshire across the globe with the internet, Facebook and Twitter?
Our mission, after receiving such a stark diagnosis, was to support families receiving similar news with accurate and appropriate information (knowledge is power), signposting to the best experts, being a listening ear, raising awareness amongst the medical, healthcare, social care and teaching professions and funding research for treatments and ultimately cures. If this sounds familiar, it is because although the delivery has been transformed through the evolution of the digital age, the objectives are little changed.
We are so grateful to our volunteer trustees, countless supporters and fundraisers in addition to our dedicated staff who have kept this mission alive. We are truly thankful for the skilled clinicians and researchers who have given hope where there was none before.
Our only wish is to continue supporting vital research; keep helping those in need; advocate boldly for quality medicines and access to them; collaborate energetically with our rare disease partners to share best practice and above all, to sustain and continually improve what we do in order to keep hope, and Jen’s legacy, alive.
Jen’s sister Beki also shared her own story of growing up alongside Climb, as the sibling of someone with an Inherited Metabolic Disorder:
“She was my sister, my special big sister. It was only when I reached a certain age that I realised that my sister was a little bit more special than the rest of my friends brothers or sisters. Obviously she was special, she was my special big sister.
Growing up with a sister with a metabolic disorder was sometimes hard for me, but, my special sister got through it all. There were endless trips to the hospital, operations and medications but she went on to achieve everything she ever wanted.
My special big sister will always be special; not special because of her condition, but because she was special to me. My big sister Jenny is, and will always be, my hero.
I may never have known my sister if it had not been for my parents dedication and determination to give my sister the life she deserved. The life that she enjoyed so much, and more so, the lives that she touched. My wonderful parents never gave up hope and it is thanks to them and the amazing doctors and nurses that I got the best big sister I could ever have wished for.
I will be eternally grateful for the amount of work and dedication that every doctor, nurse, charity worker and fundraiser has done for Climb and I know that Jenny is up there smiling down on us everyday. With Climb as her legacy, Jenny will forever live on. She’s my sister, my special sister Jenny.”
Our history and heritage are very important to us, and we are very lucky to have the support of the Greene family as we continue Jen’s legacy every day.
Jennifer Rachel Greene (1978 – 2007)