The Mt Kilimanjaro Diaries – Part 1

Miss Horn we are going to give you a cancer referral….

No one ever wants to hear this, but with cancer rising to statistics of 1 in 2 people its increasingly difficult to speak to someone who hasn’t had this experience.

As I sat in the walk in surgery and stared at the referral card, I thought not now, not me, I’m too busy. There is never a good time for this situation, but the irony was, that at that time I was caring for my friend and neighbour who had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus and was fighting a battle that ultimately, she would lose.

At just 52, my beautiful funny friend Lou lost her life, just over 3 months after her diagnosis. Nine days later, I went in for an operation to remove half my thyroid after they had found a suspicious nodule.

When I visited my surgeon post-surgery he confirmed all went well and no further treatment would be necessary, and I can lead a normal life. “Can I climb Kilimanjaro” I asked, “if you really want to then yes”, he responded. So that’s what I’m doing.


As an Ambassador for the Women Supporting Women campaign with The Prince’s Trust, there was an opportunity to join a bunch of intrepid female entrepreneurs who were doing just that. We believe women have the potential to do amazing things, but the climb to the top is not always easy – (add your comment if you relate to this).

To say I am out of my comfort zone is a massive understatement. Going from a standing start of zero, never climbed a mountain before, not a regular gym goer and never having met any of the other women, it’s all new and unknown.

The climb will take eight days, starting in 25 degrees heat, then to minus 25 degrees as we approach the top at 5895 metres high. Everyday will get progressively harder, camping on the mountain and ultimately the summit climb begins at 1am as you ascend in the dark.

Everyone keeps telling me it’s hard you know, I want to say no shit! Of course its hard, but then nothing worth doing is easy.


The WSW campaign helps disadvantaged young girls into entrepreneurship. I’ve met some of the young women that have taken part in the initiative and heard their stories how they have dealt with their own struggles in life and how determined they are to succeed.

When people say it’s a journey, well this will be. A physical training journey for me and then ultimately the trek itself. I will share some of that journey with you and if you would like to donate to the fundraising I would be grateful.

Doing this for Lou, for all the girls that face struggles and for me, as we have one life and we need to make the most of it.

PS I have paid for the trip myself so all donations go 100% to the cause.

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