On September 19th, Suzie Bell (27), of Glasgow, and her mother Carol MacBain (54), will be raising funds for Alzheimer Scotland by carrying out a 6 day climb of Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, located in the east African country of Tanzania. We caught up with Suzie and asked her why she and her mother have decided to do this:
Mum and I got into climbing Munros last spring and found we loved being in the Scottish hills. We continued this year as well, which is when the idea of Kilimanjaro sprung to mind. Scaling it will allow us to combine our love of climbing mountains with the ultimate challenge of standing on the highest point of the African Continent.
The main difficulty will be the altitude, with Uhuru Peak being at 5,895m (19,340 ft). At that height altitude sickness is a real possibility. No one knows who will get it, and it doesn’t matter how fit you are.
However, I’m sure we’ll feel extremely proud and relieved when it’s done. I think we’ll also feel exhausted! Right now, we’re both looking forward to watching the sunrise from the tip of the mountain, happy in the thought that we have achieved our goal and raised some much needed funds for Alzheimer Scotland.
My mum and I are completing this challenge for my gran (my mum’s mum), who was diagnosed with dementia in 2011. My grandpa looked after her at home until March 2015, when it became apparent that she needed specialist 24-hour care. He wasn’t able to care for her any longer as he was 88 himself and suffering from prostate cancer and Parkinson’s.
It was a sad day when she went into the nursing home, but it’s what she needed. She’d deteriorated so much at that point that she wasn’t able to do anything for herself anymore. Whilst in the nursing home, my gran had good spells when she was really happy, but also had times where she seemed very depressed. She had a particularly good spell about 3 months before she passed away. We were able to take her for trips two or three times a week, and took her to places like Callander and Uplawmoor for lovely lunches, or to the garden centre where she could wander and admire the flowers.
My gran sadly passed away while we were fundraising and training or the challenge, making it even more important for us to raise as much as possible.
Suzie and Carol have been updating friends and family on their training progress through their Justgiving page. Why not head over and lend your support or give a donation to help with their cause?