I just can't convey the enormity of the experience for me. The pre-Burma me was fearful, pessimistic – a constant worrier. The Laura that came alive in Burma is courageous, fearless and alive with an appetite for taking every opportunity out of life.
Laura Dunning first got support from Help for Heroes in late 2009, shortly after getting together with her partner Pete, a former Royal Marine and member of Help for Heroes’ Band of Brothers – a fellowship network for wounded Service Personnel and Veterans.
Pete was injured in May 2008 when the Viking he was travelling in drove over an IED. Losing both of his legs during life-saving surgery in Camp Bastion, he also broke his back and had numerous burns to his body, as well as a punctured lung.
After rekindling an old spark, Laura and Pete became a couple and married in 2012, before having two children, Ava and Noah. Then, in October 2016, Laura received an email from Help for Heroes:
“I was having the half term from hell with my children. My husband was away, and I was literally at my wits' end when an email came through from the fellowship team entitled ‘do you want to trek through the Burmese jungle?’
Laura instantly replied and was selected to join other beneficiaries, supporters and fundraisers on the Help for Heroes trek to Burma.
“I just can't convey the enormity of the experience for me. The pre-Burma me was fearful, pessimistic – a constant worrier. The Laura that came alive in Burma is courageous, fearless and alive with an appetite for taking every opportunity out of life.
“I loved being removed from the control of day to day living and wanted to make my family proud – to make my children realise that Mummies too can achieve anything they put their minds to.
“The team effort on a trek is apparent, there is so much banter and support. Being able to offload in confidence gave me the strength to just shed some of the stress and anxiety of life. For once I felt understood.
“I’m reminded often of the importance of the trek, the work that Help for Heroes continues to do and how important these opportunities are to the health and wellbeing of its beneficiaries.”
“I'll be forever indebted to Help for Heroes for the experience and as a result I've signed up to be a Volunteer. I need to give something back to the Charity and know that another Band of Sister gets the same opportunity as I did.”
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