Climbing Kilimanjaro for CLEFT

I seem to be collecting ‘challenge’s in my 50’s! In 2015 I ran the London Marathon in aid of Against Breast Cancer, in 2016 I ran a marathon in Uganda for CLEFT and a year ago I found myself enthusiastically agreeing to yet another challenge, in October 2019, namely climbing the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro!

Why do I want to climb up to 5,896 metres (19,341 feet)? The primary motivation is to raise more money for the charity CLEFT, which researches the causes of cleft lip and palate and trains doctors and nurses in parts of the world where treatment for the condition is very basic.

I was born with a cleft lip and palate but was fortunate to have been treated at the famous Great Ormond Street Hospital. Although I received some bullying and teasing as a child, I was able to cope, having had excellent advice from my parents. I was lucky that my speech was not affected, and I count my blessings that my experience has not stopped me doing anything in life!

I’m excited about the trip but, having seen the Comic Relief documentary earlier this year, in which celebrities were filmed as they climbed the mountain, I feel somewhat apprehensive and nervous. Altitude sickness affects many people and is clearly not pleasant!

I am aiming to raise £1,500 for CLEFT and my main fund-raising event is another Quiz to be held at St. Andrew’s. This will take place on Saturday July 6th and will cost £10 per ticket.  The money raised will go to CLEFT. The Quiz will begin at 7pm and end by 10pm. The ticket will include supper (prepared by my friend and fellow climber, Rachel) and there will also be a raffle.

I ask that you pray for success in reaching my fund-raising target. This could be my biggest challenge yet! I have set up an online giving account and welcome any donations if you are unable to attend the quiz.

Kaye Knowles