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102 %
raised of £2,900 target
by 9 supporters
Helen Jacobs avatar
Helen Jacobs

Kilimanjaro Trek - Alzheimers Society

Fundraising for Alzheimer's Society

102 %
raised of £2,900 target
by 9 supporters
  • Event: Trek Kilimanjaro, 2007, 17 Sep 2007

Alzheimer's Society

We are united to create a world without dementia.

Charity Registration No. 296645


Hello, my name is Helen Jacobs and I will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in September 2007 for the Alzheimers Society.

A definition from wikapedia that you might find useful:
Alzheimer's, is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living and neuropsychiatric symptoms or behavioral changes. It is the most common type of dementia.

Some pretty info from

- All types of dementia are progressive illnesses. This means that the structure and chemistry of the brain become increasingly damaged over time.

- The Alzheimer's Society estimates that there are currently over 700,000 people in the UK with dementia.

Things are coming along well, in both the fundraising and the fitness sides of things.  Events have been going on fairly regularly which ensured a steady cash flow ness, although i do need some more ideas for events.  Fitness is going good as well, joined a gym and am going as often as possible (bout 3 or 4 times a week) and im actually really enjoying it, yep i even surprised myself there.

Met everyone that I'll be treking with on the training weekend in Wales.  Couldnt have had more fun if i tried , the weather was amazing (yes must be mentioned i am English after all) and got a Welsh tan.. bet not many ppl have them.  We climbed some scrambly mountain which was uber kool and i talked to quite alot of the people and they all seemd really nice .  Also climbed Snowden which was v kool too.  There was also a presentation thingy, where the people who are organising te climb told us all about the trek and the itinerary ness cant wait even more..its gunna be so much fun.  I am so determined to do this, the only thing that is goingt to stop me is if i get altitude sickness, which i really cant control.  Have got some people to agree to shout at me to carry on if i feel like i wanna stop on the trek..not gunna happen.  Im gunna get there and stand on the summit as the sun rises.  So excited.  .

Only 6 weeks to go until we leave for Kili now.. am absolutely bricking it! Am sure its gunna be fantastic but still, all the things that could go wrong and just thinking how much im gunna be regretting the decision to go at some points up the mountain.  Hopefully adrenaline will keep me going.  Training is going v well! Feels like im reaching peak fitness again which is a good feeling, but as this is beyond anything ive ever done before im gunna need that bit extra - so more gym! my frinds are now calling me an addict lol - love it.  Doing the swim of the height of Kili for more sponsorship  - 270 odd lengths of the pool - eep if that doesnt kill me then bring on Kili!! Need to sort out last bits of paperwork and collect sponsorship from ppl that will bring the total up alot further. Woo!

Thank you for visiting my fundraising page. Please dig deep and sponsor me online.

Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Alzheimer's Society will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.

I'm trying to ensure a wide variety of fundraising activities so hopefully there will be something that will be fun for you too!  I will keep this page updated with dates of events.

Alternatively I will have a sponsorship form at all fundraising events and you can sponsor me there.

If anyone has any great ideas for fundraising events please contact me on


Saffron Walden Late Night Shopping - 8th December - went very well, thanks to the scratch band! Raised 156.87.

Pub crawl - basically a group of us dress up and go round pubs...possibly 3 legged ness and collect money from drunk people who think we look funny

No christmas presents this year, only sponsorship! 25th December

New years eve party - pyjama party! 31st December - 1st January.  raised 105. Rocking party! thanks everyone who came hope you had fun!

Brownie/ Guide Beetle drive and pancake party - Pancake day - Feb 20th - raised 165 pounds.

Cake Sales - 8/3/07 - 45 pounds

House Party - This seemed to go down well with the New Years Party so lets give it another shot!   Masquerade party for end of exams! Should be a laugh. - 130.80 raised so far, more to come in though.

Plant stall - Selling plants of various descriptions, bird tables and wooden planters

Barbeque - when its warmer  - come on British summer where are you?!?!

Car washing

Blog of Kili climb:
Friday 7th Sept
All packed and now just waiting for the time to come to set off to the airport to begine this massive journey.  I hope i haven't forgotten anything! So nervous - its a really long way and Kili is frickin big! eeep!!!

Saturday 8th Sept
Just arrived at the lodge.  It's nice, but still wondering what the hell im doing here?!  I saw Mt. Meru from the plane peaking above the clouds - looked so huge.  I asked one of the DA staff how it compared to Kili, he said it was like a baby in comparison. (ahhhhh!) This is one of my many anticipated times when i am asking myself 'what have i got myself in for?' The flight was long and boring and the food sucked, was very glad to get off it after about 9 hours.
The weather is beautiful and the landscape is entirely different to anything i have ever seen before.  Only a few trucks on the road and people walking around with things balanced on their heads.  All there is to be done from now is to chill out and prepare myself for the task of starting the climb tomorrow.  Just got to take it one day at a timei reckon - try not to think about getting to the top till summit day...hmm..not possible!!
Still cant't believe that we're here...entirely crazy!! Wow, just saw a lizard scuttling across the path in front of me - something you'd never see at home.
Just had the briefing for the trek and my nerves are clamed slightly.  Also had some food which was realy good.  The restaurant is in an open sided barn type thing so you can look out.
Main tips for the trek are to go slowly and to drink alot of water.  Hopefully if i just take my time and stuff i'll be able to make it to the top.  Time will tell.
In bed now at the lodge, the night before we set off on this big adventure.  Part of me is wishing time to go fast, part slow. meh.

Sunday 9th Sept
Just done the first days trekking throught the rainforest.  Amazing walk - there was a proper path so the ground wasn't too hard going.  Feeling the altitude a bit now - got a banging headache, feels like iv drunk way too much.  The pace felt alright, not alot to look at after a while, but still fascinating as it is so different to anything in the UK.  Had my first experience of a drop-pit toilet at lunchtime today, nearly gagged and couldn't force myself to stay in there, so took preference for a bush.

Monday 10th Sept
Currently sitting in my tent with my headtorch lighting the page.  It's only 7.35 but feeling like i could sleep right now.  After all there's not alot to do after it gets dark.  Had a fantastic days trekking, was pretty steep this morning and quite a few people felt ill.  I had a bit of a headache but just slowed down and drunk more andit improved alot.  We had a cooked lunch on the side of the mountain - the porters are amazing, they even set up a portaloo and we had tables, tablecloths and cutlery.. pretty surreal.  The food is mainly rice and vegetable sauce stuff and then some sort of fish or meat.  It's proving quite hard to write at the moment because my hands are getting pretty cold.  It was warm during the day while walking but as sun goes down it gets pretty cold.  Glad iv got a thick sleeping bag! A few of us went on an extra little walk up to Shira Camp, which was supposed to help to acclimatise to the altitude.  We're at 3800m at the moment.  Seems a bit surreal, I have to keep reminding myself where i am.  I'm having alot of chance to chat to people along the way, which is really interesting because we are all such a random mix of people that everyone has different stories to tell.  Tomorrow we're going up and then down again, only gaining a total of 100m, this is to acclimatise as much as possible to get our bodies ready for the summit day, which is going to be tough.  Some of the guys were talking about it today - they were talking about getting naked and dancing around and doing handstands etc. Not sure how they're gunna feel when its -15 degs up there!  I know im going to be wearing all the clothes i have and they are not  shifting at that temperature! hehe.

Tuesday 11th Sept
Today was hard on me, i woke up fine but then quickly felt like crap! Michelle (doc) gave me some drugs to stop me feeling sick, which workied but my stomach was still churning fro the rest of the day.  Was very hard to trek when all i was thinking about was how ill i felt.  I was reassured by the DA that it was a good thing that i was feeling it now as it meant that i would hopefully be ok tomorrow, which is the big day.  We woke up with frost on the tents this morning so it was proper cold until the sun got fully up.
Everyone was really nice about me feeling a bit rough today, always making sure i was coping and that.  Lunch was again amazing, i only wish i had felt well enough to eat it.  They served soup followed by chicken and chips, all at 4600m on the side of a mountain.  How these guys do it is amazing!! We were walking in the clouds for alot of the day so it got cold again - good chance to test out the cold weather gear.  From where im sitting now, on a rock, I can see the summit rising high above me with the Baranco wall, that we have to cover tomorrow  to the right of me leading upto the summit.  Tomorrow we have 700m to climb - back up to 4600m to camp then 1295 up again to the summit at night.  Gunna be damn tough but i made it through today feeling rough so hopefully i can make it up there.  Going to take as many drugs as it takes to get me up there and to try n help the symptoms of altitude.
I'd like to say all of us will make it but i think its a little unrealistic, the slower group were 2 hours behind us today and beth had to be carried down today as she was so exhausted, hope she will be ok! but then, as they have taken it slower, they will have acclimatised better.
Dinner soon so i'm goign to layer up and remember my headtorch today so i can find my tent afterwards as it gets dark really quickly.

Wednesday 12th Sept
Woke up early today to climb the baranco wall, this was all scrambley, which was alot of fun.  Didnt feel ill today, so was even more fun.  We played a name game to pass the time, which worked really well.  Summit night tonight so had an early night.  Woke up two hours later to start the climb.  It was a bit wierd all layered up with head torches on.  I was wearing 7 layers on the top and 3 on the bottom.  We set off up the zig zag path at about 11.30, i felt alright to start with, just taking my mind off of things wiht music.  About 3/4 way up to Stella Point altitude struck me and i started to feel very ill.  My energy hit rock bottom and i could barely keep my eyes open.  My stomach was cramping up something crazy and i felt very sick and dizzy.  Fate chose this point for the batteries to run out in my headtorch, i could barely hold myself upright let alone work out where i put the spare batteries and ended up standing staring at the headtorch for about 5 mins in total confusion as to why it wasnt on.. i just couldnt work out how to change batteries, was like asking me to explain quantum physics at that point. Zack saved me and lent me his spare one and another took my bag for me.  So for the next 3 or 4 hours i was just trying to put one foot infront of the other.  I was walking at the pace if about onc pace every 5 second, and even then having to stop every 10 steps to catch my breath.  Everything was such a massive effort.  My plat froze quite early on, so to get water i had to get into my bag, unwrap the plat bladder from the towels and open it up before i could drink. I had seen both Chantelle and Anna faint on the track and was quite worried about more people fainting and doing so myself as a felt very dizzy.  At one point when i moved my arms to move my trekking poles, i could see about 6 arms and everything was very blurry.  I could see colours on the ridges of the mountains, which was very trippy at the time! The sun started to rise as we were approaching the steep ascent to Stella Point and i felt so aweful i could barely stand, slowed the pace even more.  At this point i had my guide carrying my bag, Bruce, who was also feeling v rough and Chris who got us up there, telling us to move! I, at last reached Stella point and collapsed in a heap, entirely exhausted.  I was poked by a guide, telling me to move and i just wanted to sleep, he said it wasnt a good idea to sleep on the side of the mountain when it was minus temps.  I sat up against a rock which took all the effort i could muster and kept getting asked if i was going to Uhuru, i really wanted to but the effort to move my body was almost too much.  I rested for a bit longer and just said to myself, iv got myself up this far, its just half an hour more and then you've made to to the peak.. if you dont get up you're goingt o regret this for the rest of you're life! Holly then surfaced on the the Stella Point plateau and we looked at each other and knew we could do this together.  After getting helped up me, Holly, Dave and Paul trudged in silence up to the summit of Kilimanjaro.  I felt aweful all the way but the saw the famous signpost and the adrenaline kicked in for the next 5 minutes, we took some photos, got a bit emotional and then headed back to Stella.  On the way back we met up woth Anna again , who had fainted again and had fallen down the ice and wasnt regaining consciousness for ages- very worrying! We got to Stella point where alot of the group was waiting/ sleeping.  I regained my position against the rock and went to sleep.  A couple of minutes later i made an effort to get up and fell asleep against my knee.  Anna was fainting every few minutes now so had to be carried down.  Chantelle had also been carried right down to Ameg Lodge and to hospital to be cheke over as they thought she might have a cerebral edema - i dnt know what this is, but it sounds bad!  As we descended i started feeling much better, still v v tired but the sickness and cramps had gone.  It was such a releif! it took about another 3 n half hours to get back to Barafu camp, i headed straight for my tent to de-layer and to have a bay wipe bath as i felt gross! i missed lunch and had about 15 mins of sleep - wasnt worth it, woke up feeling baaad..nothing compared to earlier on but just wanted to sleep for hours on end! I packed up my tent and we had a 2 hr walk down to Millenium camp.  When we arrived, we met with Sally, Pat and Trudy who didnt attempt the peak and we had a beer, which went straight to my head! Then dinner, where everyone was just trying to keep their eyes open, in the end i just gave up and went to bed. Never has a sleeping bag seemed so inviting! i just stripped off and was asleep as soon as my head hit the makeshift pillow.  I slept pretty much all the way through the night.

Friday 14th Sept
Woke up in Millenium camp feeling refreshed and very ready for the waiting lodge.  The walk was only about 4 hours today, all downhill.  It was a really nice walk, i spent my time chatting to people about everyhting and anything and feel i have got to know people alot better now.
When we got to Mweka gate we (me n naomi) were greeted with lots of clapping and an Alzheimer's banner.  We got a round of hi-fives from some of the guides and then got told to go chill in the hut.  Stayed there for about an hour and bought a coke and a t-shirt.  We then had some lunch and then headed back to the lodge. 
Couldnt wait to get back to running water and flushing toilets and a proper bed.  When we got back, i left holly to the shower and went to send an email. Really wanted to phone home cos i have really missed everyone, but it is really really expensive and my mobile doesnt work here annoyingly.  Got int he shower next, which felt so so good! I washed myself down about 4 times trying to get rid of the dirt. I am now chilling outside the room on a comfy chair in my Kili t-shirt remenissing on the experience.
In all, it has been an amazing experience, once in a lifetime, also the hardest thing that any os us have ever done.  When asked if i would do anyhting like this again i replied, just let me forget the pain i was in and maybe.  But sticking small for a while - 3 peaks next challenge i reckon!

As you can see i have much planned:P

If you choose to pledge more than £30, you will have you name printed on an exclusive t-shirt which will join me up the 5895m to uhuru peak.

So please sponsor me now!

Many thanks for your support.

I still have money to collect but once that is collected my total at the moment is £2529.75.