Trekkers' Stories

Kilimanjaro base camp

While Trekkers who fundraise for the Irish Cancer Society all have their own unique experiences when taking on a trek, we've noticed that they all use the same phrases when they get home! Read some recent Trekkers' accounts below, and see how many times you count the phrases "life-changing" and "trip of a lifetime"! Then get in touch with us and find out how you can take on a trek of your own.

"I took on the challenge of trekking Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, and I can honestly say it changed my life. After losing my grandfather to prostate cancer the year previous, helping those in similar situations suddenly became paramount. I contacted the Irish Cancer Society about the trek and they put me in touch with the expedition company, Earth's Edge. The process was so simple I was booked within the week!

The trek itself was incredible - I have never experienced anything like it. Our guide, Jono, and our doctor, David, were amazing leaders. I went on the trip alone (which most trekkers do!) and came home with 13 friends for life. In the middle of it all, we learned some Swahili, went on a Safari and got to watch the sun rise from the summit of the world's tallest freestanding mountain. Thanks to the generosity of friends, family and kind strangers, I raised over €3,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.

The team at the Irish Cancer Society were a brilliant help - they facilitated every fundraising need I had and left no questions unanswered. To know I had their support and guidance at home meant that all I had to focus on at Kilimanjaro was taking every step closer to my grandad. 

If you're thinking about doing a trek to help raise funds, I urge you to stop thinking and do it! The opportunity was both a joy and privilege."

Gillian

"When my sister-in-law Sue died from breast cancer, her husband Michael decided that he would honour her by walking part of the Camino on the first anniversary of her death. My husband Philip and I made a decision to join him as we had always wanted to trek the Camino.  

We didn’t plan to do it as a fundraiser, but a month before we were due to leave, I coincidentally received a routine request for funding from the Irish Cancer Society. It seemed such an appropriate cause that I decided I would ask friends and family for sponsorship. Philip also asked friends and work colleagues who had been so supportive of him at the time of Sue’s illness and death. The lovely, positive messages we received helped us to keep going on our trek.

We spent eight days walking in the beautiful mountains and countryside of Galicia, Northern Spain. We were blessed with the weather; cool misty mornings, breaking into balmy sunshine and temperatures climbing to 24 in October -  hard to beat! The sound of the cow bells on a clear morning and the peace and tranquillity of dropping into tiny stone churches to light a candle provided balm to our hearts.  

Coming home, we felt blessed by the special time spent together in Sue’s memory and even more so when we realised how much our friends had donated to The Irish Cancer Society in our name. Cancer is the word none of us want to hear; but we can only be grateful for the research and care that the Irish Cancer Society provides. Thank you to all who contribute their time and love and care and expertise. May you all be blessed."

Margaret Holland

"Kilimanjaro was the most fantastic and humbling experience. We met some fantastic people in our group which made the trek easier. I would drive 200 miles just to spend 5 minutes drinking coffee with any one of them - such was their impact on my journey to Africa. The tour group Earth's Edge were 5-star, as were our group leader and doctor, Josie Mcgee and James Ralph.

To be able to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society has been an incredible experience. We both knew that to collect a decent sum, then we would need to push the boat out and challenge ourselves. Cancer stats in Ireland are frankly frightening. I hope that the money we raised will go towards helping to create a future without cancer; a brighter future for all."

Andrew Nolan & Eoin Boyce

"The trek was a trip of a lifetime. It was unbelievable. It was so hard yet so much fun. I don't think I will ever be able to compare it to anything. 

It has been an amazing experience. I wanted to do something new for me - a life-changing experience. But I also wanted to give back to people who I know need as much help as possible. The Irish Cancer Society made this possible in their support of the trek and their support of me. As much as this trip has changed me as a person, I know the money I raised will be able to help someone who really needs it. And that for me, was just as important as the trip. 

This trip was the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life and probably ever will do. People who suffer from cancer face such struggles on a daily basis. Standing on the summit of Kilimanjaro after six hours of walking in the darkness made me realise that, no matter what, there is always a light at the end of the darkness. If we fight and work together, we can all help each other reach our own summits. The money I raised is a small drop in the ocean of what is needed to support the Irish Cancer Society and people who need it. But I know that the money I raised will be used to give many people the support they need to keep fighting to beat cancer, to reach their summits."

Cory McPhelim

"The trip was tough but absolutely amazing, and I couldn't recommend the experience enough! Doing it for the Irish Cancer Society only added to the experience and made it more rewarding.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with the support of the Irish Cancer Society has been one of the toughest yet most rewarding and invaluable experiences of my life so far. When we first decided to take on the challenge we didn't know what to expect, but we couldn't have received more support from everyone in the Irish Cancer Society throughout the entire experience.

All the fundraising activities we did leading up to the trip gave us that extra confidence we needed to complete the climb. The trip itself surpassed any expectations we had, and although it was tough at times, we made it to the top and we couldn't have been happier to do so for such an amazing charity. All in all, we couldn't recommend climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the Irish Cancer Society enough to anyone of any age group!"

Rebecca Carter

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