As most of you are probably well aware by now I've returned from my trek and travels. Things went splendidly well and not only did I totally smash the trek having done a huge amount of training but I managed (with a huge amount of help from my lovely gents) to raise a fair amount of money for Marie Curie UK who provide terminal care and support for patients and their families.
It was a trek that at times was very challenging for sure. The temperatures dropped quite significantly overnight which made camping in the wilderness with very basic facilities interesting. The high altitude makes trekking a lot more difficult and there is definitely a psychological strain on each individual when doing something as physically challenging as this. Of course this is not my first challenge of this nature having done Mount Kilimanjaro and The Great Wall of China. However, each one brings it's own unique set of difficulties that need to be considered. For me severe allergies to insect bites and my allergy of the cold was one of my main concerns. Both of which kicked in at certain points but having a medic with us and being armed with a huge bag of medication I was able to endure the worst of the bites and the worst of the cold without having to call it quits. One of our party sadly did have to throw in the towel and that's always really upsetting for the person involved and the rest of the group as a whole. It's something you prepare for months on end so having to quit early is devastating to say the least.
Previously I'd made a declaration that this would be my last charity challenge. I made this declaration with the target of raising £10,000 over the 3 challenges firmly in sight. I have been helped to this target massively by the lovely gents who visit me and even by some who can no longer visit. It's been humbling to know that people can be so generous of spirit despite what the media would lead us to believe about our fellow man. So having said that, during my trek I was starting to have a change of heart. The reason I do these treks has been to help fund end of life care for people who need it. As you may well know I spent a number of years as a senior Nurse and saw first hand how the system, willing as it was, was very under funded to deal with good terminal care. Hospice and home care provided by Marie Curie is a world away from the poorly funded end of life care given in a hospital setting that has not the time, funds or expertise to do it better. I spent the time trekking surrounded by people who all had a story to tell about why they were doing the trek. Why the care was crucial to them and their family at the end of their loved ones life. These stories were heartbreaking but also heart warming, and reaffirmed the reason I did it and now still want to do it.
So, I will no doubt carry on. I may well keep it a bit more low key and low profile, but I'm almost certainly going to carry on. I visited the Glasgow Hospice last week and saw again first hand the amazing work that is getting done there. If they're not done with their work, then I guess I'm not done raising funds.