Bexley girl climbs Kilamanjaro in memory of dad for EllenorLions Hospice

News Shopper: Emma Connelly braved arctic conditions on the trek. Emma Connelly braved arctic conditions on the trek.

A BEXLEY woman has completed an inspirational challenge after climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and raising £4000 for EllenorLions Hospice.

Emma Connelly, 21, of Blendon Road, did the trek because the hospice cared for her dad, David, who died of secondary bowel cancer at the age of 53 in 2000.

David was able to stay at home with his family because specialist nurses from the charity helped care for him.

Emma, who works in administration at St Thomas' Hospital, started the eight-day trek the day after her 21st birthday last month.

She said: "I was only seven when dad passed away and it made such a difference being able to keep him at home.

"I'm glad that I’ve been able to give something back to this wonderful charity.

"I was overwhelmed with happiness and all that was running through my head was "Mum I did it" as the tears stung my sunburnt cheeks.

"I couldn't wait to tell my mum that I'd done her, and my dad proud."

During her challenge, Emma trekked through rainforests, moorlands, alpine deserts and arctic wastelands.

The intrepid explorer experienced scorching sun, bitter winds, heavy rain and snow, with temperatures ranging from 30°c to -15°c.

The final gruelling six hours of her challenge were in complete darkness.

But the sun finally rose behind her as at 8:20am on Thursday, January 23 as she reached The Roof of Africa - The Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro at 5,895m above sea level.

Emma added: "I’m so very grateful to EllenorLions Hospices for all they did for my dad and our family."

To make a donation, visit Emma’s sponsorship page www.virginmoneygiving.com/EmmaLucyConnelly If you would like to do your own challenge event for EllenorLions, please contact Area Fundraiser isobel.kerry@ellenorlions.org or call 01322 221 315.

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