TWO Gold Coasters have tackled Mt Everest base camp and come out on top.
Paul Hatwell and Johnny Lennane never thought 2014 would see them trekking up Mt Everest, but this month they successfully tackled the challenge and, in the process, made a vital difference in their community.
The pair recently embarked on a 14 day trek to Everest Basecamp and climbed for up to eight hours a day to raise vital funds for Cancer Council Queensland and Cystic Fibrosis Australia.
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Mr Hatwell said that even though the climb was tough mentally and physically, the pain was nothing compared to the physical and emotional strain cancer patients and cystic fibrosis patients face.
“Trekking between six to eight hours uphill each day and pushing through the altitude sickness with oxygen was definitely challenging,” he said. “Knowing we were doing it for charity helped and inspired us along the way. Things did get tough on numerous occasions, but knowing we had a lot of support from those in Australia and all over the world kept us going.
“We choose to support Cancer Council Queensland and Cystic Fibrosis as we know so many people in the community who have been touched by these diseases.”
Mr Hatwell and Mr Lennane said they also dedicated the climb to a close friend who passed away earlier this year.
“Two months ago our close friend and fellow Gold Coaster Gerard Berger died in a snowboarding accident in Australia, so we dedicated this climb to him as well,” he said.
“We took a photo of Gerard with us and left a small memorial for him at Everest Basecamp.”
The pair hopes to continue their expeditions each year, embarking on different adventures around the world to raise further funds for charity.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us including our employers, Jupiter’s Casino – we couldn’t do it without the support we had,” Mr Hatwell said.
To continue supporting Mr Hatwell and Mr Lennane, visit their fundraising page at www.mycause.com.au, and search, Everest Climb For Life.
The Everest Climb For Life, supports Cancer Council Queensland’s ‘I Can Get Active for Cancer’ campaign, encouraging Queenslanders to do something active to raise funds for the fight against cancer.
Cancer Council Queensland Regional Fundraising Coordinator Lyn Mitchell said Mr Hatwell and Mr Lennane had shown true dedication and courage, in their efforts to make a difference.
“Whether you pledge to do something big like climb a mountain or something small like holding a fitness class – it all makes a big difference in the fight against cancer,” Ms Mitchell said.
“All funds raised from I Can Get Active events, support Cancer Council Queensland’s vital work in cancer research, prevention and early detection programs and patient support services.”
Anyone wanting to pledge ‘I Can Get Active for Cancer’ can register online.
For information about Cancer Council Queensland and support, visit http://www.cancerqld.org.au/ or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.