Caring Ashleigh helps kids enjoy ski slope fun

Ashleigh at Ladurns Ski Resort.
Ashleigh at Ladurns Ski Resort.

MAKING the impossible possible is the aim of a charity which takes disabled and seriously ill children on the trip of a lifetime.

Katie’s Ski Tracks transports children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with life-long and limiting illnesses such as cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, diabetes or cancer, without their parents or carers, to northern Italy for 10 days where they are taught how to ski.

Ashleigh Martin, a student nurse at Caledonian University, joined the team to help out last month when they went to Pflerschtal, northern Italy, and she witnessed the wonderful work they do for herself.

The 24 year old, from Clober Road, Milngavie, specialises in children’s nursing and is a proficient skier - so she was given the task of delivering first aid to the children if it was required on the slopes.

She also made sure they drank enough, took any medication they needed and had plenty of rests while they were skiing.

Ashleigh, a former St Joseph’s Primary School pupil, said: “Many of these children would be unable to ski due to their conditions.

“The charity provides adaptive equipment such as frames and standing aids to make it possible for them.

“Some children may have had a limb amputated or they use a wheelchair so finding a way to enable them to ski is a wonderful experience for them.

“Special instructors aid them at first but where it’s possible they are encouraged to ski independently.

“It is a great opportunity for the children to build their skills and confidence and have fun.

“They also get the chance to meet others with similar conditions so they make lots of new friends.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, it was really rewarding and inspirational to see what the children were capable of.

“It was fantastic to be a part of it and I’d love to do it again.”

The team consists of support workers, ski guides, and a medical team ,including a doctor, physiotherapist, nurse and Ashleigh’s role of student ski nurse.

Evening activities and entertainment such as karaoke, bush tucker trials, dressing up and dancing are also provided and 24 hour care is provided for those who need it.

Katie’s Ski Tracks was named after the late Katie Noctor who helped to co-found the charity in 1990, and who lost her own personal fight against cancer just two years later. It is run by Criminal Records Bureau checked volunteers who receive no wages or remuneration.

If you would like to find out more or donate go to www.katiesskitracks.org