Born in Cairo in 1942, Penelope married Oliver Worsley and went to live in Yorkshire, where they had four children. ‘Footsteps to the Jungle’ traces Penelope’s earlier life, the discovery of Huntington’s Disease, the death of her son Richard and what led her to set up an international charity in his memory. The Karen Hilltribes Trust is focused on helping the Karen people in the mountainous area of northwest Thailand to help themselves to build a better future. This illustrated book is a personal story that shares tragedy, illness and challenges, resulting in the huge rewards of working with others.
The death of a child often brings a halt to their parents' lives too, like a full stop in the middle of a sentence. But for Penelope Worsley, the death of her much-loved son marked the start of a whole new chapter in her life.Yorkshire Life
It was not a path she would've chosen to tread, but she felt very strongly that she must try to live life more fully with commitment and vibrancy, to somehow make up for the time snatched unexpectedly from Richard, who died in a road accident, aged just 24.
Penelope has now written a book, due out on December 1st, about the Karen people, about Richard's death and about another terrible blow dealt to her family, Huntington's Disease.
That chaos now includes selling the family home to pay for a smaller, purpose-built house for herself and her brave but ailing husband; caring for her children, even though their condition often makes them pull away from family ties; looking out for her grandchildren and providing a haven when they need it; running her charity and now promoting her fundraising book.
Charity fundraising champion Penelope Worsley has revealed in a moving and courageous book how she has faced up to two personal tragedies in her life.York Press
Penelope, of Heslington, York tells candidly in the book how her husband, Oliver - brother of the duchess of Kent - is suffering from Huntington's disease, and inherited degenerative illness which attacks brain cells.
She also writes about the loss of her son, Richard, in a car crash, and how it inspired her to create an international charity which is helping to transform the lives of the Karen people of northwest Thailand.
Penelope says she launched the Karen Hilltribes Trust, dedicated to his memory, in 2000. So far the charity has raised over £3 million and is working in around 400 villages.