“We laughed together, cried together and reached the summit of Kilimanjaro together”

All sorts of people fundraise for charity for lots of different reasons. I decided to sign up for an overseas trek after I lost a dear friend in May 2006 - the same year I started working for Marie Curie.

Before my friend’s illness I was pretty naïve as to what Marie Curie did or the types of services it offered to people living with a terminal illness. 

When my friend passed I knew right away that I wanted to do something.  I wanted to remember him in a positive way, but I also wanted to do something that would help Marie Curie. I was gobsmacked to learn that the charity needs more than £6million per year to provide its hospice and community nursing services.

I finally opted for the Kilimanjaro trek, as I love the outdoors and if I was going to get involved then I was getting involved 100%! I paid my registration fee and thought ‘right, where do I go from here?’

"I was well on my way to reaching my target"

The support from Marie Curie’s dedicated events team was fantastic. They put me in touch with some other local trekkers and we spent many a weekend on the Mournes and supported one another with fundraising.

There is a pretty hefty fundraising commitment associated with the treks, but as long as you give yourself enough time then you’ll be grand. I ran a few pub quiz events and held a cinema night. The support I received was out of this world and after a few events I was well on my way to reaching my target.

Deborah (fourth from left) with her trek team.

It was a relief to finally meet up with the full trek group as had only previously met with the NI trek members. I met all sorts of people: managing directors, midwives, members of the armed services, and secretaries. The youngest in our group was 21 and the eldest was 66. I loved the diversity of the group and I certainly learnt a lot.

"Friends for life"

The trek was certainly a challenge, but everyone mucked in and supported one another. I can honestly say that the friends I made on the trek are my friends for life. We laughed together, cried together and made the summit of Kilimanjaro together. The trek was a life changing experience for me, and I’ve since completed several more both as a participant and a trek rep.

The Marie Curie challenge events offer people of all abilities the chance to get involved in some fantastic events, but at the same time gives participants the opportunity to raise vital funds for the charity. 

"He was with me every step of the way"

I may have become aware of Marie Curie for the wrong reasons in 2006, but I feel that my experiences since have been incredibly positive and have allowed me to say thank you to the charity for what it did for my friend all those years ago.

I may have lost him in 2006, but I know he was with me for every step of every trek that I’ve taken part in.

So, if trekking sounds like your thing then why not get involved? We have lots of treks to choose from.

You can also contact the fundraising team on 028 9088 2046 or email for more information.