Wembley grandmother abseils 400ft in fundraising mission for granddaughter

Tessa Bastien raised �1,200 which will help fund medical treatment for five-year-old

A daring grandmother trying to raise funds to help her disabled granddaughter take her first steps has braved her worst fear and abseiled more than 400ft down a tower.

Despite suffering with motion sickness and vertigo, Tessa Bastien, who lives in Wembley, descended 418ft down the National Lift Tower in Northampton.

As reported in the Times last year, the 46-year-old is trying to raise �50,000 for her five-year-old granddaughter Mia Ferreira, who suffers with severe cerebral palsy, to go to the States for specialist treatment.

Mia is deaf and unable to walk, but if Ms Bastien and Mia’s mother, Jayde Michael, raise the required amount they will fly to St Louis in Missouri.

Once there, they will visit Dr TS Park at St Louis’ Children’s Hospital who has helped more than 2,000 children learn how to walk.

Ms Bastien, who raised �1,200 from her abseil, said: “I have never experienced such fear in my life. When I looked at the tower and saw the height I thought there is no way I can do it.

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“But then I looked at Mia and thought, I have do this. All the way down I was saying Mia’s name, over and over again.”

The family has raised almost �20,000 since they started fundraising in October. Following the abseil a karaoke event was held at the Post Office Club in Greenford Road, Sudbury Hill, which raised �650.

Willesden Sports Centre, Donnington Road, has joined Mia’s Mission by organising a Zumbathon on Sunday, April 1 with the proceeds going to Mia’s fund.

Ms Bastien said: “I am so relieved to have done it and raised more money to go towards her fund. It’s starting to seem like a reality now that we might actually be able to do this.”

n To donate visit www.justgiving.com/mias-missouri-mission or contribute directly into the Mia Ferreira’s Mission bank account using sort code 40-03-28 and account number 52663678.