Lancing resident raises over £2,600 for St Barnabas House by trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp.
Lancing resident Sarah Jones raised over £2,600 for local hospice St Barnabas House by trekking to the base of Mount Everest in October 2017.
To celebrate her 50th birthday, Sarah set herself the challenge of a lifetime – to trek to the Everest Base Camp in Nepal at an altitude of 17,598ft.
Returning to the UK, Sarah wrote on her JustGiving fundraising page: “On Saturday 7 October, after nine very tough days, I finally reached Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 17,598ft!
“I did the trek in memory of a dear friend Mad (Madeline Band) whom the hospice helped through its Hospice at Home service, and so far I have managed to raise over £2,600. The trek was the most amazing and exhausting experience of my life!”
Sarah has been fascinated by the world’s highest mountain ever since she was given the Guinness Book of Records for Christmas at the age of 13.
Having read books and watched documentaries, Sarah admitted it had always been her dream to see Mount Everest with her own eyes.
The challenge involved 77 miles of trekking over 13 days – 38.5 miles and nine days to trek up to basecamp and a further 38.5 miles and four days to descend.
With temperatures dropping as low as -20ºC at night and 50% less oxygen at Everest Base Camp, proper acclimatisation was imperative.
Sarah added: “The trek to Everest Base Camp was guided, supported and arranged through Travel and Trek who liaised with the Fundraising Team at St Barnabas House. They arranged the dates so I could spend my 50th birthday at Everest!
“The trek was quite simply the most incredible experience of my life! It exceeded all my expectations and although it was physically very demanding, it was also hugely rewarding in every way.
“Being surrounded by the immense mountains, the names of which I’d seen and read so much about, seemed very surreal! Now I want to go back and do it all again!
“The trek was also very emotional and I thought about Mad with every step I took. I had my little seagull mascot on my shoulder to remind me that Mad was there and telling me to keep going when I was flagging.”
Expanding on her reasons for supporting St Barnabas House, Sarah added: “After losing my dearest friend Mad to bowel cancer in April 2015 and seeing two other close friends, Jayne and Robyn, go through their own cancer battles recently, I decided to fight back against cancer in my own way by trekking up to Everest Base Camp to raise money for St Barnabas House, an amazing hospice in Worthing.
“Sadly Mad was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bowel Cancer in January 2015 and she died in April 2015 after receiving palliative care at home from the St Barnabas nurses.
“Although I didn’t have direct contact with St Barnabas, I know their Hospice at Home service was invaluable to Mad and her partner in her last days, allowing the dignity of dying at home in familiar surroundings with the people she loved, her final wish.”
Bella Cripps, Events Co-ordinator at St Barnabas House, said: “Sarah has been an incredible supporter of St Barnabas House. She has been very determined and dedicated to her challenge and raised a fantastic amount.
“It is because of amazing fundraisers like Sarah that we are able to keep providing outstanding hospice care for the people in our local area.”
If you are thinking about taking on a similar challenge and would like to support St Barnabas House please visit www.stbh.org.uk/get-involved for more information about fundraising and challenge events.