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155 %
raised of £1,450 target
by 69 supporters
Penny Markham avatar
Penny Markham

Penny's Everest Base Camp

I have completed a 9 day hike to Everest Base Camp for Huntington's Disease Association because my best friend Clare was diagnosed with HD

155 %
raised of £1,450 target
by 69 supporters

Huntington's Disease Association

HDA England and Wales exists to support anyone who is affected by Huntington's disease. It pursues the best possible care; provides training & advice to families and professionals; raises awareness; and promotes research towards better treatment and ultimately a cure.

Charity Registration No. 296453


On October 17th I begin my 15 day hike to Everest Base Camp, I am doing this with a group of people, it will involve trekking to high altitude which carries risk of AMS (Altitude mountain sickness). Everest Base Camp is at 5,380m (17,600 foot), the top of Everest is 8,848m.  It involves walking/trekking 6-8 hours a day as well coping with acclimatization which you can’t really train for, you either do or don’t become sick from the altitude.  There are many risks associated with taking on this challenge, Avalanches, Falling rocks, Crevasse falls, YAKS running into you and you getting knocked off, the weather, frostnip.  I am hoping the trip goes as smoothly as possible, knowing the risks and what to expect is  part of the training and preparation for it.  (**TO NOTE** My trip has already been paid for by myself before setting up this just giving page)

I have decided since I am partaking in quite a big hiking challenge that I would like to raise money and also AWARENESS for the Huntington's Disease Association.

The reason I have chosen this Charity is because it is a charity I care a lot about as my best friend Clare (who I’ve known since we were so small I cannot remember meeting her) was diagnosed with HD only a few years ago, she is like family and a sister to me.  We have grown up together and have many childhood memories.  We have remained friends as adults and I was her bridesmaid at her wedding in June 2011.  The prospect of losing this close friend sooner than I should and in the manner this disease takes you is heart breaking. 

Aside from my feelings on it, Clare herself has taken this news in the most positive and admirable manner that she can, she is truly an inspiration to strength and making the best of her life, she doesn’t let it stop her at all. I am so so proud of her reaction and how she deals with it every day. She is sometimes stared at and judged and often is accused of looking “drunk” when she isn’t. She also had to face a tough battle with her career despite her work ethic, great attitude and actual ability to complete her job.

Huntington’s disease is an illness caused by a faulty gene in your DNA . If you have Huntington’s, it affects your body’s nervous system – the network of nerve tissues in the brain and spinal cord that co-ordinate your body’s activities.

Huntington disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes
uncontrolled movements, emotional problems, and loss of thinking ability (cognition).

Adult-onset Huntington disease, usually appears in a person's thirties or forties. Early signs and symptoms can include irritability, depression, small involuntary movements, poor coordination, and trouble learning new information or making decisions. Many people with Huntington disease develop involuntary jerking or twitching movements known as chorea. As the disease progresses, these movements become more pronounced. Affected individuals may have trouble walking, speaking, and swallowing. People with this disorder also experience changes in personality and a decline in thinking and reasoning abilities. Individuals with the adult-onset form of Huntington disease usually live about 15 to 20 years after signs and symptoms begin.

This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern,
which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. An affected person usually inherits the altered gene from one affected parent.

As the altered HTT gene is passed from one generation to the
next, the size of the CAG trinucleotide repeat often increases in size. A
larger number of repeats is usually associated with an earlier onset of signs and symptoms. For Clare the onset was before she hit her thirties.

Please donate what  you can, anything makes and difference,
as does awareness of this, so please talk about this charity, if you care like I do about this cause, please kindly pass on my page details.

Thank you in advance for the time you’ve taken to read this and
also for your donation. 


  • Clare and I
  • My best friend +15