Brain injury can have devastating impacts on families, but sometimes through their loss, people feel compelled to make a difference to the lives of others.  Jasmin McMillan tells us why she has chosen to complete an epic 575 mile trek through Spain to support Headway Nottingham in loving memory of her Nanna, Joy.

"I’ve set myself the challenge of walking from St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre in Spain.  It’s 575 miles and nearly all along the coast, taking in four big cities as well as some tiny and remote villages with just 65 people living there, but with the ‘Perigrinos’ [walkers following the pilgrimage] there are roughly 100 peple travelling though each day.  It’s a long route but a popular one, albeit a bit of a baptism of fire as 12 of the miles include a 40% incline! 

"I’ll be staying in hostels every night, some with 800 people in which will be interesting!  Some of them will be really young, with school trips etc, all the way up to people in their 80’s.  There's a Facebook group with 104 of us all leaving on the same day, so whilst I'm a bit nervous to be going on my own I'm sure I'll enjoy meeting lots of new people to share the experience with.

"The whole trip will take 38 days with just one day off and we're covering 15 miles everyday.  It's also my birthday while we're out there on 9th June and I've always wanted to be out on a trail on my birhday so the timing is actually perfect!Jasmins Nanna Joy

"The longest walk I've completed in one continuous trip was 200 miles in Scotland, which unfortunately coincided with the arrival of the Beast from the East, and temperaures dropped to minus 10!  In preparation I've trekked through Yorkshire and have taken on Boxhill in Surrey, going up the steps instead of down at the weekends.

"It's important to me to complete this journey in loving memory of my Nanna Joy.  She was an amazing woman who was so full of life and she brought an incredible amount of happiness to everyone she met.  She passed away following a rare haemorrhage.  It was very sudden.  I got a call out of the blue – my work were lovely and let me dash off to her.  She’d had a bleed on her brain, which was quite a small one.  They’d thought they could put a coil in where it had happened, but the coil went down an artery in her brain.  She was on a high dependency unit for four days but we were encouraged to see she was complaining about meals on the ward!  After her second stroke we sadly lost her. 

"She was an amazing lady who injected so much joy into people’s lives.  Locally she had the nickname the ‘Hells Angel’ because she would bomb about on her bike wearing her neon yellow jacket.  Losing my Nanna was a huge shock.  I really want to support Headway Nottingham as she was bedridden after her first stroke and we suspect we may have needed the wonderful services they offer.

"As such I hope to raise £1 for every mile walked, so £575 in total."

To make a gift in recognition of Jasmin's epic trek, please visit her JustGiving page at

All the team at Headway Nottingham are incredibly grateful to Jasmin for her amazing efforts for us.  Every pound raised will support the long term rehabilitation and support needed to rebuild skills and confidence after brain injury.