Made it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro!
Brain tumours have become a tragic and real part of my adult life. My Aunty Angela, my Dad, and my mentor and friend, Basia all take too early. As a researcher the not knowing how and what can really be done is frustrating, as someone who has lost loved ones it is excruciating. In 2018 I turned 40, reached my 10 year anniversary to Joe and became a mother of 4. This year would also have been my Dad’s 70th year and it was time to push some boundaries. In memory of my wonderful dad and my amazing Aunty I decided to take on Kilimanjaro by running the half marathon (when I set the goal I couldn’t run 2kms) and then by striving to reach the rooftop of Africa.
At the time I didn’t actually like running and I really didn’t like climbing mountains, but I wanted more than a physical challenge, I wanted to push myself mentally, I wanted to find strength to conquer things, perhaps to help me cope and focus my grief. The half marathon (which quite literally went up up up for 8kms and then round and down) and the majestic mountain climb, did just that. With every gruelling step for both I found head space and peace.
I highly recommend both. The spirit of the half marathon is incredible, the route is stunning, through coffee fields, villages, banana trees, with runners from all around the world, and completing surrounded by friends and family was magical. And then Kilimanjaro, all I can say is DO IT! It is just sensational. It is not a technical climb. My husband arranged the climb through his company (www.milestonesafaris.com) , and whilst I am biased I can honestly say this was the best experience ever, his team, the route (Rongai) the conditions, my climbing buddy (of course given I climbed with my husband) made the 6 days we climbed some of the best days of my life. Being outside, above the clouds, looking down over Kenya first and then Moshi, walking (very very slowly) in fresh mountain air allowed me the time and headspace to remember my loved ones, to think about and curse brain cancer but more importantly to think about life. I am so grateful to so many people for enabling me to aspire to and complete this challenge and to raise this significant amount of money to fund the fight!
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this disease. Brain Tumour Research is leading voice calling for support and action for research into what is called the last battleground against cancer. I hope my efforts can somehow help. Please see my justigivng page for more on my journey and consider supporting this worthwhile need.
And if you ever want to climb Kilimanjaro please do get in touch!
Completing my first Ever half marathon with my family (which in July 2018 became 6!)
Jenny, Joe and the climbing team at Mawezni tarn camp (with Mawenzi behind them, 4315m above sea level)
Day 4: Jenny and Joey moving closer to the summit
Reaching Gilmans point together, 5685m above sea level, sadly Joe was suffering from Acute mountain sickness and had to descend
On the way to the rooftop of Africa (alone – well with two guides) but WOW!