Thanks to Dave Berry, who climbed to the top of mount Kilimanjaro and in doing so, raised £500 for the charity.
What an amazing view from the summit and what a great achievement!
We asked him a couple of questions about his motivation for attempting this amazing feat and his replies were so inspirational, we’ve published them in full here below…
- What motivated you to climb Kilimanjaro and why did you choose Breast Cancer Kent to raise money for?
My wife Alison has been treated by Russell for the last 10 years. Russell and all the team are outstanding people and I wanted to give something back in recognition of the fantastic work they do. I also raised money for the Heart of Kent Hospice.
- How long did it take you to reach the summit?
Overall the hike and climb took 5 days. The final two days were the most difficult. Starting at 7am, hiking to base camp at 14,500 feet , sleeping for a couple of hours in the evening (the inside of the tent froze) then starting the climb for the summit at 11pm. The climb to the summit at 19,500 feet took around 5 hours and it was really tough. Very steep. I’m pretty fit but it was a real slog. It felt the same as continually being on a stepper in the gym, in a howling gale, around -10° and, toward the summit, a very steep hill made of sand; one step forward, two back (not fun, and some members of my group crying as it was very hard)
- Have you been climbing for long or is this a new hobby?
No, this was a one off. I left the police this year after 30 years service and wanted to do something that would mark that. I mentioned it to Russell and he suggested I might like to do it for Breast Cancer Kent.
- How did you feel when you reached the top and saw that view?
It really was amazing and pretty emotional reflecting on the last 10 years struggle for Alison and just how much we owe Russell and his team. The view really was remarkable. Especially the glacier at the top. Genuinely what kept me going was how much Alison has had to endure having been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer and her treatment over the last 10 years. It’s been hard on our two boys. They were 7 and 5 when Alison was first diagnosed. It’s been a roller coaster of highs and lows. The climb was really hard but that’s what motivated me to finish. With the risk of altitude sickness, the route and time we took to reach the summit there is a 60% failure rate so it was a real personal test of resilience. I’m glad I achieved it. We finally got back to base camp 13 hours after leaving (exhausted).
Congratulations and well done Dave – thank you so much for your support.