A FORMER Queens school pupil has raised more than £3,000 for Cancer Research after she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
Hannah Schofield, 19, climbed the highest mountain in Africa to raise money for the charity after her best friend, Olivia Battye, was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma bone cancer and her grandfather died of leukaemia.
Hannah, who is from Frodsham, described the climb, which took six days, as “the hardest thing I have ever done in my life”.
She said: “My mum climbed Kilimanjaro a few years ago so I have wanted to do it since then. My best friend Olivia was diagnosed with cancer when she was 16. She had the most intensive chemotherapy you can have and at one point there was only a very small chance she would survive. Also my grandfather died last year from leukaemia so there was two reasons that I wanted to give something back.
“It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It takes six days, four up and two down. You think it can’t be that bad because you are not rock climbing but one girl in front of me passed out. You can’t breathe properly.
“The worst night was summit night. We went to sleep about midnight and we were up again at 3am. We had to tackle the ascent in the middle of the night and had to walk for about 18 hours.
“You can’t stop up there long because there is only 20-30 per cent oxygen and you just want to sit down all the time but all our guides just kept telling us get up and carry on.
“I would never do it again. Before I went I was thinking of tackling Everest base camp but I am never doing it again although I would recommend it to anyone.
“You do feel different when you get back and you appreciate things a bit more.”
Olivia is now five years in remission and studying sports science at Sam Houston University in Texas.
As a celebration Hannah, who is currently at Warwick University studying management, is helping to organise a black tie ball on November 30 at the Hillbank Hotel in the Wirral, near to the Clatterbridge Hospital where Olivia received her treatment where she hopes to raise over £30,000 for Cancer Research’s new research centre at the Christies Hospital.
To order tickets for the ball, which has a cocktail reception, three course meal, charity auction and comedian John Culshaw will be performing, call 07798 533046 or email simoneschofield@ aol.com. Alternatively, to donate to Hannah’s cause, go to http://www.justgiving. com/Hannah-Schofield