Cousins climb Kilimanjaro for sister hospices
Cousins, Gemma Seymour (27) and Hannah Lineham (25) from Worthing, raised a monumental £8,147.95 for Chestnut Tree House and St Barnabas House by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
This life-changing experience was originally Gemma's idea and she persuaded Hannah to join her.
Hannah chose to support Chestnut Tree House, while Gemma chose to support St Barnabas House because her grandmother was cared for at a London hospice and St Barnabas is her local hospice.
The two cousins spent just over a year training two or three times a week in the gym and walking on the Downs to get themselves fit for the gruelling climb. They both organised numerous fundraising events and activities. Gemma arranged race nights and quiz nights and Hannah put on a charity football match and sponsored walk as well as a raffle and car boot sale. Both girls received sponsorship from family, friends and colleagues and Gemma received corporate sponsorship from Leaders and matched funding from Barclays.
Hannah and Gemma set off on 6 October only to discover when they arrived that the weather conditions were some of the worst seen on the mountain with temperatures down to -15°C.
Unfortunately, both girls were ill with Hannah suffering from altitude sickness and Gemma from pulmonary oedema. It was too risky for Gemma to continue up to the summit but Hannah carried on, finally reaching the top on 12 October.
'The hardest thing was leaving Gemma,' said Hannah, 'But if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. It was the experience of a lifetime and we formed close relationships with the other people in the group travelling with us. There were lots of tears because of the difficult conditions, but lots of laughter too! And we certainly couldn't have done it without the support of the porters with us.'
Gemma summed up their amazing experience, 'It was emotionally and physically challenging but it is always something we will look back on. We would like to thank, Leaders, Barclays, all the staff at Gala Bingo in Worthing, Ferring Football Club, Worthing Football Club, John Henrys in Findon and of course all our friends and families for their support.'
Hannah and Gemma recently visited Chestnut Tree House to present their cheque and to see what a difference their fundraising will make to the patients and families who use both hospices.