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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Alice fundraisers on a high

FIFTEEN adventurers experienced an emotional and physical rollercoaster when they took on a huge charity challenge on the other side of the world.

There were tears and laughter, and exhaustion and euphoria for Team Alice – Kili 2012 when they climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa, at the beginning of this month.

The group faced the 5,896m mountain with the united aim of raising thousands of pounds to support Alice’s Escapes, the charity set up by 16-year-old Alice Pyne, of Ulverston.

Alice, who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, established the charity, which allows seriously ill young people and their families to enjoy holidays in the Lakes.

Her aim is to buy a caravan so there is a permanent holiday base for the families.

Team Alice gained sponsorship of around £46,000 towards buying the caravan for Alice, a young lady who has also inspired thousands to join the bone marrow register. The team included Alice’s mum Vicky, 44, her cousin Daniel Pyne, of Millom, and friends and supporters of her charity, who proudly wore their purple Alice Escapes T-shirts.

They faced acclimatisation, and eight-to-12-hour days of walking with their guides in weather, including rain and snow.

Throughout the journey they carried Alice’s charity mug.

There was a real family feel to the adventure as the team also included husband and wife, Simon and Cathy Broomfield, of Ulverston, who are trustees of Alice’s Escapes, and also Tony Bagnall, of Stainton, who climbed with his 19-year-old son, Joe Bagnall, and his sister Jill Mactaggart.

Every member of the team made it to Barafu Camp at 4,550m. When they reached that point they got about four hours sleep and then had to get up at midnight to tackle the summit. Ten members of the group managed to reach the summit. The others tried but were hit by altitude sickness and exhaustion.

Mr Bagnall, a 45-year-old GlaxoSmithKline employee, said lack of sleep through freezing tents also had to be overcome.

He said: “My proudest moment was stood at the top with my son, because he really struggled.

“Emmie also did really well to get to above 5,200m – higher than anything in Europe.

“There were fabulous highs and massive lows.

“I got to do this with my son and my sister, a good friend of Vicky’s. When I became involved I didn’t know Alice or Vicky really, but I’ve met them a few times now and I’d do it again for them.”

Mr Bagnall also carried the support of GSK, his colleagues, and Steeles Removals.

Mrs Broomfield, 37, who runs Verstone Boarding Kennels and Cattery with her husband, said team spirit kept people going. She said it was “utterly phenomenal” that everyone made it to the top camp.

Mr Broomfield, 42, came down with severe altitude sickness and, under doctors orders, had to make his way down the mountain.

On making her way to the summit Mrs Broomfield said: “Every inch of energy was used and at one point it was just myself and Jason (Mancini) walking together with the doctor and the porters. We just kept talking to each other, it’s just the attribute of the whole team, supporting each other.

“It was far harder than I could ever, ever have imagined. You are just putting one foot in front of the other and thinking about every single breath.”

Mrs Broomfield said everyone’s donations to help Alice were a great goal for the team and helpers. She said: “I did this because Alice can’t do it, so it was something I could do for her and I did it to get this permanent base for her charity.

Mr Broomfield, said: “It was just an amazing experience. It’s good to know that all our efforts will provide this caravan and help families with seriously ill children have a break during their treatment.

“Kilimanjaro is probably something that they will never get the chance to do. It was great to be part of the team.”

Mrs Pyne and her friend Mrs Mactaggart set off for the summit and battled as far as they could.

Mrs Pyne said: “I’m going back, I have to do it.

“It’s harder than anything I have ever done. We set off for the summit, crying. It was evident very quickly that we wouldn’t make it.

“Jill and I got back to the tent and balled our eyes out, and then Emmie joined us, so there was three of us balling our eyes out.

“Alice encouraged me to write my own bucket list and climbing Kili was the first on the list. The fact it then turned into a charity jaunt was fantastic and we’ll get the caravan through it.

“Alice was really outdoorsy and she would have been up there climbing with us if she were well.”

Alice congratulated her mum and the team in a call.

They hope to order the caravan in the next month.

Have your say

Thank you, Jackie! It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and the whole group put everything into the climb. I haven't finished yet though! My next event to raise sponsorship money for the Kili Climb is a Luscious Ladies' Indulgence Night, kindly hosted by Bijou Boutique at St Paul's Hall on Hawcoat Lane. Starting at 7pm, we have stalls for nails, massage, Angel cards and treats plus live singing and lots more! Tickets are £3.50 and include a glass of fizz to get you in the mood on arrival. Contact contact@yetihunt.co.uk for tickets and more info. x

Posted by Faye Armistead on 15 October 2012 at 00:17

Congratulations Faye and everyone else for one massive trek, well done for reaching the top Faye. Love one very proud dad.

Posted by Graham Armistead on 13 October 2012 at 17:12

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