Fundraising in high spirits

06 Nov 2019

“We loved waking up for the sunrise most mornings, the view from your tent of being up in the clouds, and seeing the stars at night.”

This year, Laura, Joe and Haylee took on the monumental task of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – one of the world’s tallest mountains. They successfully reached the peak and raised over £2,700 for St Bartholomew’s, a hospital close to Laura’s heart.

In 2016, Laura’s mother, Chris, was diagnosed with cancer and cared for at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Sadly, after five months of treatment, she passed away.

“She is missed every day, but the care, love and laughter she and so many others experience at St Bartholomew’s Hospital is something we are so thankful for,” said Laura.

To honour her memory, Laura and her sister, Marion, asked family and friends to donate to the hospital in her name.

Marion said, “We will be eternally grateful to Mum's oncologist and the nurses at St Bartholomew’s for the compassion and care they showed Mum during her time there. We are so glad as a family to have got to spend an extra 5 months with Mum to tell her how much she means to us and how much we love her.

“She got to be part of huge family milestones such as her youngest granddaughter’s first steps, her youngest daughter's 30th birthday, her first grandchild passing his GCSEs and her son passing his professional exams.”

Donations like these helped pay for things like extra wheelchairs that give patients more freedom and independence, heated blankets to keep patients comfortable, and activity boxes to entertain adults staying in hospital overnight.

This year, Laura and her friends, Joe and Haylee, decided they wanted to go even further – 5,895 metres further, to be precise. They challenged themselves to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. This was a big jump for Laura, who had only ever climbed as high as 4,600 metres before, but the knowledge that the money raised would support St Bartholomew’s Hospital kept the three of them going.

Joe said, “The scenery was outstanding and really different each day, from walking though the lush green rainforest that surrounds the mountain, to the dry, dusty alpine desert towards the top.

“There were so many memorable moments, like when we reached the summit and had an honorary toast to Mumma Chris instigated by Haylee at the top. It really is an extremely special place and every day of the hike was memorable. We left feeling proud of ourselves and reflecting that if you put your mind to something, you really can achieve anything!”

In the end, the three of them raised an incredible £2,700.

“Given £2k was our target and we turned it around pretty swiftly, we were all really chuffed with that and are happy it will go to such a worthy cause. It definitely gave us the motivation to keep going so thank you for providing us with that opportunity as well!” said Laura.

Well done to Laura, Haylee and Joe for successfully reaching both the summit and their fundraising target. Thank you!

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