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Abseiling at 80 for Island rheumatology patients

Abseiling at 80 Web
Abseiling at 80 for Island rheumatology patients
12 June 2019

Rheumatology patient, Maria Sorensen, has braved the 100 metre descent down the side of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower on her 80th birthday to fundraise for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Rheumatology Service.

Mrs Sorensen decided to take on the challenge to fundraise for a therapy chair to benefit patients receiving infusion treatment at Laidlaw Day Hospital where she attends for treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

With perfect weather conditions and clear skies, Mrs Sorensen celebrated her milestone birthday by dropping off the 100 metre platform last August and made her way down by rope. She said: “The rheumatology team at Laidlaw are so good to me and keep me well and active that I wanted to do something to support them. It was a perfect day and, although it was really scary, it was great fun. I want to thank my family, my granddaughter, Suzie, my neighbours and to Hayley who runs the rheumatology support group for their lovely support.”

The new chair is already providing great comfort to patients who are sat for a number of hours at a time while they receive treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis and other auto immune conditions by suppressing the immune system.

Carolyn Goddard, Biologic Nurse Specialist in Rheumatology said: “We are incredibly grateful for Maria’s support, she is just amazing and we are in complete awe of her. To take on such a challenge at the age of eighty and to think of us and our patients is just wonderful. The therapy chair is in our lovely, bright conservatory area and is already making a massive difference to the comfort of our patients. We would like to say a huge thank you to Maria and to everyone who supports us, whether it’s through fundraising or volunteering, we really do appreciate it.”

Mrs Sorensen is already considering her next challenge with walking over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and abseiling down the Eiffel Tower on the list.

For more information about supporting the work of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust visit

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