Mount Everest lies ahead for fundraiser, Nicola.
Posted 8 October 2013 12:00 AM by Healthspan Heroes
In the very first round of applications for Customer Heroes back in 2012 we heard from Nicola, now 59, from Surrey. She was planning a trek to the Mount Everest Base Camp which she will begin next week.
Nicola is raising money for the Brain Tumour Charity
and her motivation for doing so could not be stronger. Nicola's daughter, Lettie, was diagnosed with a malignant tumour and passed away two years ago at the age of just 31. Nicola describes Lettie as 'an adventure bunnie'- "Following her diagnosis, she was determined to pack as much in as she could- she climbed Macchu Picchu, motorbiked in Australia, trekked through jungles, skydived and climbed glaciers. After she died, I wanted to see if I could follow in her footsteps. She would have loved to have climbed Everest but the altitude prevented it." Nicola plans to scatter some of Lettie's ashes near Base Camp at Kala Patar (5600m).
Nicola, who hates flying, will fly into Kathmandu and drive for 9 hours to her starting point. She'll be walking alone for the first week, before joining up with a larger group who will walk for 6-7 hours each day to complete the 3-week round trip to Everest Base Camp which is 5365m above sea level- that's 4 times higher than Ben Nevis and yet still 3500m short of the summit: a particularly dangerous and specialist climb that Nicola won't be attempting.
To drum up more funds for the charity, Nicola has organised events- a sponsored walk in a local park and a dinner where a number of local businesses have donated their premises, staff, food and prizes for a raffle. "I want to raise money for the charity" says Nicola "but also do anything I can to support Brain Tumour research and campaigns like HeadSmart (http://www.headsmart.org.uk/
) which wants to educate people about what the signs are that someone may have a brain tumour. Looking back it's now clear that Lettie showed symptoms as a teenager but it was only many years later, when it was too late, that she was properly diagnosed. “Brain cancer research only attracts 2% of research funding and yet it kills more young people than any other cancer"
Her Customer Hero award helped her with the deposit for the trek and to purchase some specialist clothing to tackle some of the extreme temperatures she'll be encountering along the way. Nicola takes Healthspan Omega 3 and Evening Primrose Oil supplements following recommendations from a friend who is a nutritionist.