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27
Feb
Sam is taking on Everest

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Sam Pashen

10 days and counting. The nervous excitement is really beginning to build for me with the view of the peak of Everest just over the horizon. So, as you imagine, training is in full swing.

Roughly a month ago, I purchased my walking boots; the initial breaking in, so to speak, took a good week of wearing them everywhere from bed to the bathroom. The following few have seen me cover a fair number of backroads in the south of Dorset, with a rucksack on my back and headphones in my ear, such that now the blistering boots are gloves to my feet.

The next couple of weeks will see me take on a handful of prolonged 10-15km hikes as final preparation. In all honesty, trying to get the legs to adapt from football to trekking has been more challenging than I first thought, but has measured up to be just as rewarding.

Fundraising, on the other hand, has been the most rewarding by miles. To start the ball rolling, I set up a JustGiving page for donations. The first donation came no more than 5 minutes after its launch, sending me into an excited run around the house in celebration. I had goose bumps for a good while after from the satisfaction that this idea was now a reality.

The total began to rise slowly but steadily, with each donation inducing the same ecstatic effect. It was given a big boost after I organised a 6-a-side football tournament that had a great turnout. For so many people to turn up for a cause I was supporting was huge for me. With the help of family and friends’ personal donations as well, the total stands at £3070, only £430 off the grand target total.

It sounds cliché, but I didn’t choose Everest, it chose me. After searching for gap year possibilities, I came across the challenge online and immediately knew that it was my one and only option. Having my dearest Nan diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) not long ago, I jumped at the opportunity to give back. To combine the adventure of a gap year with a means to help my Nan, or others like her, was a win-win for me. To make her proud is my ultimate goal. I cannot wait for the physical and mental challenge that lies ahead. The unequalled scenery and sheer scale of this adventure is a huge excitement for me.

Bring on March 9th!

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