A Melton woman and four fellow nurses who work at the LOROS hospice are to climb one of the world’s tallest mountains to raise money for the terminally ill people they care for.
Mandy Ryan (58) and the colleagues she calls her ‘blister sisters’ are to scale the 5,895-metre high peak of Mount Kilimanjaro next month.
She admitted the challenge will be a long way out of her comfort zone but that thoughts of the hospice patients will keep her going.
“Training for this has completely changed my lifestyle – I never thought I’d own a pair of walking poles,” said Mandy.
“We’ve been doing a lot of walking and we have such a laugh.
“We’re used to long hours and hard work so I think that will help.”
Mandy will be accompanied on the trek by Leanne Cole, Amanda Carter, Claire Halford and Kathleen Lancaster on September 20 and the group have been following a rigorous training schedule between shifts and family commitments.
The challenge will see them trekking through dense tropical rainforest before they take on the climb up to the snow-capped summit of Africa’s highest mountain.
The nurses, who care for patients on the ward in the hospice, have been fundraising all year, and Mandy has already raised more than £1,000.
She said: “It won’t be great not being able to shower for a week or use a proper toilet.
“The altitude is also a bit of a worry, but we’re all looking forward to it.
“Everything we make will go to LOROS – we’re all covering the cost of the trip ourselves.”
She added: “I feel privileged to work at the LOROS hospice and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
“Thinking of that will keep me going.”
LOROS fundraising events lead, Andrew Ward, said: “Our Mount Kilimanjaro trek is not for the faint-hearted as they will be walking six to seven hours per day for days and days, some of it at altitude.
“Mandy and her colleagues are hugely committed to LOROS and we’d like to wish them, and all the other participants, the very best of luck in their challenge.”
Go online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mandy-ryan2 to sponsor Mandy’s epic fundraising effort.