A reality TV star has told how he is preparing to walk the Great Wall of
Chris Jammer, 25, is the British businessman behind the Strawberries & Creem music festival, which attracts the likes of
But despite having the tall, muscular physique and understated charisma viewers have come to expect from a reality star, Chris’ heart-breaking personal story has charged him with an inspirational mission that is far from superficial.
For last April Chris’ mother, Annabel Nnochiri, lost her battle with cancer, just a day before her 57th birthday.
This October Chris will undertake the great challenge of walking the Great Wall in a bid to raise money for bereavement charity Grief Encounter – and keep his mother’s legacy alive.
On a mission: Chris Jammer will trek the Great Wall of China this autumn to raise funds for bereavement charity Grief Encounter [pictured earlier this year on Shipwrecked]
‘When I was 17, Grief Encounter offered therapy and bereavement support via my school when both my grandparents passed away,’ Chris said of the cause.
‘The therapy my sister and I received was very helpful, as it was also the same year my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer, so we were going through a difficult time at home.
‘Their support was amazing, and it’s been the only time I accepted help from a charity. I want to give back and show my appreciation, so I reached out and want to go on this Trek to fundraise and use my platform for good.’
Grief Encounter is the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK, servicing three up to 19-year-olds after the death of a parent or sibling, helping them to rebuild a new life.
Annabel seemed to emulate this message before her death, proving an unflappable figure of strength, courage and inspiration to Chris and his family – a legacy he now wishes to champion to others.
Having previously fought and won a two-year battle with breast cancer, Annabel was later diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, following the sudden death of Chris’ grandfather and step-grandmother.
Tragic loss: Annabel Nnochiri, Chris’ mother, lost her life to cancer on April 24 2018, a day before her 57th birthday
In her memory: And this October, he will be trekking The Great Wall of China, raising money for the charity Grief Encounter, for which he is an ambassador
Inspiring: Annabel seemed to emulate this message before her death, proving an unflappable figure of strength, courage and inspiration to Chris and his family – a legacy he now wishes to champion to others
She fought this for a further six years, during which time Chris became her primary carer.
Despite her diagnosis, Annabel took lessons in art, baking and crafts, traveled to places she had always wanted to see, and extended her life expectancy in the process.
‘From diagnosis to her death, my mum lived every second to the fullest, doing amazing things,’ Chris went on.
‘She has inspired me to seize the moment, and use my voice to share my experience, helping support bereaved young people.
‘I can’t wait to get started on this adventure, both with the charity, raising awareness and vital funds for bereaved children.’
Chris will be travelling to China to take part in the Great Wall Discovery from the 12 – 21 October 2019.
Over 9 days, he will be trekking through the twisting pathways of the Yan Mountains, and taking thousands of challenging steps to one of the New Wonders of the World.
What a woman! Despite her diagnosis, Annabel took lessons in art, baking and crafts, traveled to places she had always wanted to see, and extended her life expectancy in the process
In good company: Chris will also join Made In Chelsea’s James Dunmore on the trek – all in an effort to contribute to the 44,000 dependent children who are bereaved annually in the UK
Timely: Chris’ trek seems poignant, too, in light of recent tragic events surrounding reality stars, with the likes of [L-R] Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis – both of former Love Island fame – taking their own lives this year
Cambridge graduate Chris added: ‘My relationship with my mum was, and is so special and important to me. Death doesn’t change that. The time we had together is untouched and unchanged so I’m choosing to celebrate and remember that’
He went on: ‘By becoming an ambassador for Grief Encounter, and taking on this amazing trek in her memory, I hope to help people be more aware of the challenges young people face with adolescent bereavement.
GRIEF ENCOUNTER SAYS:
Children have an overwhelming sense of confusion, fear and anxiety, alongside their grief, which must be cared for in order for them to continue into adulthood with a sense of confidence and long-lasting happiness. This is where Grief Encounter makes a difference.
We help families address a multitude of challenging issues following the death of a loved one, alleviating the hurt and confusion caused, whilst promoting healing.
Established in 2003, Grief Encounter offers a flexible and accessible service, which aims to professionally care and respond to bereaved children, young people and their families via counselling, group activities, family fun days, residential camps and interactive online services. We support over 500 bereaved children and young people in the UK, relying solely on donations, so we can offer a way to identify and escape from the encompassing feeling of grief.
Adolescent grief has a devastating impact that can last for life, with research showing links to mental health issues and serious social and behavioural problems without early intervention. This is where Grief Encounter makes a difference.
‘I aim to raise £50,000 for this amazing cause. It will support between 25-30 children suffering from bereavement for a whole year. If I can help these children receive the help they need and hopefully prevent them from possible mental health issues in their future, then I can make a difference.’
Chris’ trek seems poignant, too, in light of recent tragic events surrounding reality stars, with the likes of Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis – both of former Love Island fame – taking their own lives this year; and with a rise in reality personalities and Instagram influencers championing mental health awareness in today’s digital landscape.
Chris will also join Made In Chelsea’s James Dunmore on the trek – all in an effort to contribute to the 44,000 dependent children who are bereaved annually in the UK.
Having lost both of his sisters, Lucinda and Jodi, to Cystic Fibrosis as a teenager, James, 30, became the one in every classroom in the UK who experiences the bereavement of a parent or sibling by the time they reach 16 years old.
He will be taking on the Great Wall Discovery challenge in their memory, in his new role as a Grief Encounter Ambassador.
Cambridge graduate Chris added: ‘My relationship with my mum was, and is so special and important to me. Death doesn’t change that.
‘The time we had together is untouched and unchanged so I’m choosing to celebrate and remember that.’
Follow Chris’ journey and donate to his trek at his
For more information, images or expert comment from Grief Encounter, please contact Samantha Rose at Grief Encounter on 07944 398 474 or email@example.com.