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Horsham’s least likely Kilimanjaro candidate in charity trek

When you read stories about someone doing something active, dangerous or sweaty for charity, it’s usually about a person who doesn’t bat an eyelash at doing something active, challenging or sweaty. This is not one of those stories.

In fact, the latest Horsham girl to take part in a fundraising hike is possibly the least likely candidate ever, which is why she deserves your donations.

This week, Sarah Hood, a born-and-bred Horsham-ite will spend six days climbing almost 6,000 metres up Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

You might hear of challenges like this every other day. You may even read about them weekly in The District Post. So what makes this particular expedition so special? Perhaps it’s that Sarah hasn’t been camping since she did her Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1995 – and even that was compulsory!

She’s not going alone, mind you. Sarah will be joined by four of her friends; Dan, Richard, Ben and Chris, who will no doubt carry her. Oops, we mean encourage her, all the way.

So why is Sarah putting herself through the hardship of sleeping sans Siberian goose feathers and peeing in a pot for a few days? It’s actually for a very good cause, as she explained to us: “My friend Dan and his brother Richard have raised more than £20,000 for Motor Neurone Disease, an illness that their mum died from recently, which I thought was an inspiring achievement.

“The MND Association had been so amazing in caring for their mum and many others battling the disease. It takes time, money and lots of help from others to keep them funded. Dan came to me and asked for some new fundraising ideas and I told him he needed to do something drastic and different.

“He asked me if I would get involved with him and the next thing I know I’m standing at the bottom of Mount Snowdon, walking poles at the ready, looking up and wondering how I got there. Little did I know, Kilimanjaro is six times as high.

“My great Uncle also died from Motor Neurone Disease so I have personally seen the impact it has on people’s lives. It is a cruel disease that anyone can get. It’s also poorly funded and there is no cure. I would be so grateful to anyone who could donate whatever they can afford to this really great charity.”

Sarah and Co’s trip is entirely funded by themselves, with every penny of donations going to the MND Association. Together the team has already raised £11,000 for the charity.

Sarah added: “I’m terrified. The effects of high altitude can be pretty bad and on the last night climbing in pitch black to the summit for seven hours will be tough. But we’ve trained hard and I think we are prepared! I know that I’m doing it for a good reason and I’m very grateful for all the donations I’ve received so far.”

A six-day mountain climb? It’s worth a bob or two if you ask us. To make a donation to the Motor Neurone Disease Association via Sarah Hood’s Just Giving web page go to justgiving.com/Sarah-Hood5.

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