Originally from Bray in Co. Wicklow but living in Galway for the past 7 years, 29-year-old Radiation Therapist Aisling McDonnell will scale new heights for local charity Cancer Care West this July.
After taking part in too many adventure races to mention and enjoying long distance running, Aisling has now set the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro. She will scale the mountain with Irish Tour Company Earths Edge. The group of 16 will leave Ireland on the 22nd July and flying to Tanzania.
“We will be spending one week in total on the mountain, 5.5 days climbing up and 1.5 days coming down. We are taking the Machame route (also known as the Whiskey route) which has a reputation for being a tough climb! At the base of the mountain is a rainforest, with typical temperatures of 30 C. At the summit, it can often reach -29 C. During the climb, we will pass through 5 different climate zones. Kilimanjaro is 5895 m tall. It is one of the seven summits, and is the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
“According to Kilimanjaro National Park, the success rate for reaching the summit is 45%. So, I’ve been doing a lot of training!” smiled Aisling.
“A cancer diagnosis is both financially and psychologically stressful for a lot of people. Radiotherapy is generally given daily for a number of weeks, and for patients that don’t have local radiotherapy services available, it can be difficult to spend time required for treatment away from the much-needed support of family and friends. Cancer Care West is a huge support to these patients, so I wanted to lend a hand in supporting this charity, “explained Aisling.
“The nerves are definitely setting in with just over two weeks go! But once I get to the mountain, the only way is up!” Aisling said.
Aisling who works in the radiography department in Cancer Care West will see first-hand where the money raised goes as all funds will be donated directly to this department.
To support Aisling log onto www.cancercarewest.ie.