Three Essex women are among a group of five trekking through the Jordanian desert to raise funds for a charity working to grant the wishes of children with serious illness or disabilities.
The women include Avril Mills, who founded The Dream Factory after her nine-year-old son Oliver died from leukaemia 10 years ago. The others are Hayley Bloom and Melanie Brown.
Ms Mills had been inspired by Oliver’s delight when she helped him realise his dream of meeting EastEnders stars Ross Kemp, Martine McCutcheon and Sid Owen.
“It made his life,” she recalled. “He loved EastEnders.”
Dreams since realised had included giving a girl a Shetland pony and arranging for a boy to be a mascot at a West Ham United game.
“I know what my family went through,” Ms Mills said. “The dreams help the children’s families because they are a long lasting memory. You never forget seeing that smile on your child’s face.”
She and her colleagues began the trek yesterday and will be finishing on Monday, the 10th anniversary of Oliver’s death.
It is hoped that the challenge will raise at least £20,000.