Staffordshire woman achieves Kilimanjaro feat

7th Mar 2013

People thinking of undertaking a challenge of a lifetime may draw inspiration from a Staffordshire woman who raised more than £19,000 for charity by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Gabrielle Hadley, of Bishops Offley, near Eccleshall, raised the funds for the Donna Louise Children's Hospice when she completed her attempt to reach the summit of the mountain.

The 48-year-old, co-owner of Extramile Communications with husband Nick, had been providing a free marketing service for the hospice in Trentham Lakes and decided to raise vital funds for it.

Gabrielle said she decided to climb Kilimanjaro to take herself out of her comfort zone, and initially aimed to raise £5,895 - £1 for every metre. But her husband Nick told her the amount was too small for such a big challenge, so she changed the target to £1 for every foot.

The climb took seven days to complete, with five spent to reach the summit and two for the descent. As well as having to battle with temperatures of minus 15C, Gabrielle also suffered a stomach bug and fell behind the rest of the group in Tanzania with her.

She said: "At the final ascent I had a fit of nerves because I was so high up but I kept on going. Determination is an amazing thing and the thought of £19,000 spurred me on."

She added that she was overcome with emotion when she reached the top, particularly when she saw a congratulatory message from her husband.

Gabrielle said: "The skies were awesome - they were all the colours of the rainbow. It was hugely emotional."

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