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DMU graduate survives bruising arctic adventure

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate Danii Griffiths has survived a gruelling 160-mile trek across the Arctic - and has the bruises to prove it.

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Danii, 21, who now works as an account executive for Hopwood PR in Leicester after graduating in Media and Communication, trekked up to 37 miles a day to raise money for Woodside Animal Centre, the Leicestershire branch of the RSPCA, who are clients of the agency.

Braving temperatures as low as minus 25C, Danii joined a group of fundraisers from the centre, for six days of manoeuvring husky-drawn sleds over frozen ground, dealing with sleep deprivation and waist-deep snow.

At five feet tall, she had to cope with three-feet-deep snow off the frozen trail and suffering a bad knock after falling off her sled.

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Graduate Danii to trek across arctic

The team were jubilant as they crossed the finish line at the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjӓrvi, Sweden, where they were able to enjoy a warm shower, their first for a week, and a well-earned cocktail in the Ice Bar.

Danii said: “I had a pretty rough time on the third day. After two nights camping and no decent sleep since I left the UK, I was feeling pretty exhausted. It was a real struggle to get the dogs harnessed and get myself into gear. The worst day was day five when an unmanned dog sled crashed into me and I took a nasty tumble. I have the bruises to show for it.”

Although she does have her own pet husky, Dexter, who was rescued as a puppy by Woodside, it was the first time Danii had climbed aboard a husky-driven sled and shouted “Mush!”.

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Now back in England, back to work and recovering from the challenge, the PR exec said: “Doing this challenge has really opened my eyes. It’s made me realise that I’m capable of pushing myself to extremes. A lot of people, including my mum, didn’t think I could do this. Knowing that my family are proud of me is a pretty good feeling and I’m honoured to have raised money for the RSPCA, as my own husky owes his life to the centre. They do such a great job.”

Danii and the rest of the Woodside team are aiming to help the centre reach its £1million fundraising target for a new state-of-the art veterinary centre that will allow dogs, cats and other small animals to be treated on site rather than undergoing distressing journeys to vet surgeries.

Danii has raised more than £1,300 but is aiming to get to £3,000.

To sponsor Danii, visit www.justgiving.com/daniigriffiths and every penny will go towards the much-needed veterinary facility at Woodside Animal Centre in Leicester. 

Posted on Thursday 4th May 2017

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