Kilimanjaro is located in the Northern part of Tanzania and is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world. The summit stands at 5,895m (19,341 feet). The 6 day Machame route is a tough trek which takes place over 6 days and 5 nights.
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
When I was at school I wrote a bucket list, on that bucket list was 'climb a mountain'. If you had known me at school you would have laughed. I was not one for physical exercise in any shape or form, I hid in the toilets on more than one occasion. So when I stumbled upon that piece of paper I sat down and ticked off the things I had achieved and looked at the things still to achieve and whether I still wanted to do them.
My grandad Donald Day was one of the most important and influential people in my life. The most happiest of memories are ones where I would spend my weekends at his home watching opera on TV that I needed the subtitles for, cycling to town on my bike to buy fish and chips that I would balance precariously on my handlebars and running the length of the road (it was a long road) every time the ice-cream van would sound and walking back with 5 or 6 ice creams despite their being a freezer full of lollies in the freezer. My granddad had Parkinsons Disease which progressed a lot towards the end of his life.
Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition. People with Parkinson's don't have enough of a chemical called dopamine because some nerve cells in their brain have died. Without dopamine people can find that their movements become slower so it takes longer to do things. There's currently no cure for Parkinson's and we don't yet know why people get the condition. Parkinson's doesn't directly cause people to die, but symptoms do get worse over time. One person in every 500 has Parkinson's. That's about 127,000 people in the UK. Most people who get Parkinson's are aged 50 or over but younger people can get it too. The main symptoms of Parkinson's are tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement. As well as affecting movement, people with Parkinson's can find that other issues, such as tiredness, pain, depression and constipation, can have an impact on their day-to-day lives.
I will be climbing Kilimanjaro in memory of my grandad and in support of the Parkinson Charity. The charity funds research into finding better treatments and ways to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson's.
Throughout my training I will keep you updated with photos and videos. I hope that you will all support and encourage me in my journey and be a part of something pretty epic for me