My mum, Gerry, passed with Motor Neurone Disease in January 2005 at the young age of 61. She had been diagnosed only 3 months. I knew then I wanted to do something to raise awareness and funds for MND but it took me a while to get the strength together.
In Aug 2014 I signed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to honour the tenth anniversary of my beautiful mums death. My Kilimanjaro story started with a gym membership and some practise climbs in The Lake District & Snowdon. There were various trips to go outdoors to buy the right kit and lots of general walking!
My fundraising got off the ground immediately and included Motown & 80’s themed nights, a jewellery party at home where we donated some of the proceeds, a race night at my local and a charity day at Over The Rainbow. My children had a sponsored silence, then my friend did a sponsored bike ride donating the money raised towards my climb. I also had a leaving party, a Northern soul night, and this alongside countless raffles & tombolas raised a fantastic amount.
I was lucky to be chosen to meet Princess Anne, who is a strong supporter of the charity. My dad and I travelled up to Falkirk and had a wonderful day. This was a thank you and in recognition of the fundraising effort prior to the climb.
I then had an amazing 8 days in Tanzania with 27 fellow climbers, all with the same cause and an unforgettable amount of blood sweat and tears to get me up that mountain. It was an experience I shall never forget and one I would do over and over again!.
The minimum sponsorship for Kilimanjaro was £4100, and I was hoping to raise £5000. Way back then I considered this ambitious! I wanted to get fit, raise some much needed funds & awareness whilst remembering mum. Little did I know it would be the best 18 months of my life!! I have made some amazing friends for life, both with my fellow climbers and my new MND family, I have a new found faith in humanity and the total raised overwhelms me to tears on a regular basis.
My fundraising total stands at £14,580 for MND, way above the £5000 I set out to achieve and I could not be prouder. The total raised by Team Kilimanjaro and the 28 climbers is over £181,000 which is phenomenal and will make such a huge difference to those impacted with Motor Neurone Disease.
I have recently been elected onto the Committee for the MND Manchester & District branch as their Fundraiser Co-Ordinator and I intend to carry out this role with the same enthusiasm that I tackled Kilimanjaro with. I will continue to promote awareness and raise funds for as long as it takes and hopefully inspire a few others to do so along the way!
See all Stacey’s photos and more on her dedicated blog on Facebook, click right here!!