Speech therapist to climb Kilimanjaro in her father’s memory

NHS employee charity trek
NHS employee charity trek

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a challenge I have always wanted to do,

I am going with a group of friends and personally funding the trip but thought it would be a good opportunity to raise money for charity at the same time.

I work as a Speech and Language therapist in the NHS with adults with long term neurological conditions including Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinson’s.

I am based at Bognor hospital but cover Chichester, Midhurst and Arundel and was previously based at Horsham hospital.

I see how these two conditions affect the lives of people and their families living with these conditions and I know the vital work that the charities do to support them. I

wanted to raise awareness about these two conditions and also raise money to fund research and specialist nurses.

My dad, Colin Sirman died of an unknown neurological condition at 52, so I understand how frustrating it is not to really understand why these conditions develop. I am doing this trek in his memory.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, the summit Uhuru Peak stands at 5896m above sea level.

We will be taking the Machame route up the mountain which allows an extra day to acclimatise to the altitude.

We will be walking through rainforest, alpine meadows and a Mars like lunar landscape.

We wake up at 11pm the night of the summit and start walking with headtorches until we reach the summit at sunrise, there is always snow at the top.

I have been training intensively over the last 6 months, doing resistance training in my local gym and long walks on the Downs and in Scotland carrying my day pack.

I am as fit as I can be but there is no way to prepare for the effect of altitude on my body.

My original target was £1000 but people have been so generous we smashed that and now I have a target of £2000. I leave Friday 4th October and start climbing on Sunday.

Please consider supporting Parkinson’s UK and the Motor Neurone Disease Association: www.virginmoneygiving.com/nicolasirman