Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
There is no denying in general I like to be the hero, however, on this occasion it wasn't meant to be! I'm sad to tell you I didn't reach the summit of Kilimanjaro, only managing to reach 5300 metres (17400 feet), which is a long way off the highest point!
I can't deny wanting to come back victorious, however, my experience has taught me that I can't always be the headline and neither should I want to be! The real heroes of this venture are the children who manage with untreated cleft lips/palates on a daily basis, the surgeons who perform the operations, you, my friends and family who have helped raise an amazing £10,000 (which has already paid for 66 life changing operations) and last but by no means least, Caj, Zara, Chas, George and Mikey who made sacrifices to enable me to make my journey!
From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of The Smile Train, thank you, or as the Tanzanians would say 'asante sana.'
I take with me some wonderful memories of my time in Tanzania, not least meeting with the incredibly generous, hard working and humble people of this beautiful country and of course sharing in some amazing experiences with my fellow travellers.
Whilst preparing for the climb I made the mistake of referring to Kilimanjaro as Kili; apparently that familiarity is only earned once you've reached the summit, so I will continue to use its full name until one day I maybe have another chance at attempting to climb it!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Hi Family and Friends,
Every year throughout the world 170,000+ children are born with a cleft lip and/or palate, which may not sound like much of a problem, however, it's all too common for such a child to be isolated from his or her community and sometimes even abandoned by their parents, not to mention the tremendous physical difficulties and discomfort endured by sufferers. Most can't afford surgery!
Smile Train, a charity close to my heart, provides free cleft repair surgeries to those in need while helping to train local doctors. This makes is possible for a child born with a cleft to EAT, BREATHE, SPEAK PROPERLY and SMILE!
With your help I hope to raise £10,000 for Smile Train, which will be enough for 66 children to have cleft surgery and in-turn dramatically increase their chances of leading a fulfilling and normal life, which I think we'd all agree is the least every child deserves in this day and age.
In an effort to gain your support I'll be climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 meters and known as the Roof of Africa. Despite my age and a very dodgy right knee ;-) my quest to reach the summit will start on the 5th August 2016. I cannot deny that this climb has been a goal of mine for some years now and therefore I want you to know I have funded the trip personally ensuring all the money you very kindly donate will go to Smile Train.
Please give whatever you can afford knowing that your kind deed will genuinely make such a positive change in a child's life born with a cleft.