In life we all have our own mountains to climb and conquer. Working with Teens Unite has been a humbling experience and has helped me to put my own life into perspective. These young people have the most incredible and inspirational stories of overcoming the biggest obstacles imaginable. It is a privilege to help them in an any way on their journey.
There are a group of teens going to Chamonix at the end of June. The aim of the Mont Blanc climb in September with Guide Fabio of Dream Guides is to help make the trip this year an ongoing annual event so other teens can share this experience and the hope is that the memories made will help them on their own individual journey.
The Mont Blanc climb is a 7 day expedition that will require training at an altitude of between 2,000 and 3,000 metres. The summit ascent requires me to sleep over in a hut at 3,500 metres before a days climb starting at 2am (in head torches) reaching the 4,810 metre summit at sunrise. It is common knowledge that it is a challenge not to be underestimated!
Teens Unite was co-founded by Karen Millen OBE and supports teenagers (aged 13-24) with cancer and other life limiting illnesses. The charity aims to help young people build on their self esteem and self confidence and reduce feelings of isolation by taking them on fun days out such as concerts, football matches, and motivational workshops. I want to help make the annual trip to Chamonix part of their program.
I also have a personal connection with Chamonix which is where I came to prepare for London 2012 last year and where I will be preparing most of the summer this year. Having trained in the shadow of Mont Blanc it is an exciting prospect that come September I will be aiming to conquer the highest peak in Europe.
This climb and the trip for the teens in June would not have been possible without the help and generosity of a number of people. Can I personally thank all the teams at Dream Guides and Sno Station, Kenton, Karen, Ellie, Debbie, Ben, Villa Loppe and of course the teens themselves.