Climbing Kilimanjaro for Healing Cancer
I am Berta Martin-Lopez, some of you might know me as scientist or professor in Sustainability Science. Thanks to my work on sustainability, together with other excellent colleagues in Tanzania, Switzerland and Germany, we got a research project to study the role of nature on people's quality of life at Kilimanjaro Mountain (https://kili-ses.senckenberg.de/). The excitement of getting this project was suddenly wiped out with the diagnosis of breast cancer.
While going through chemotherapy, in the darkest time of my life, I started to dream with hiking up Kilimanjaro and this dream became soon my motivation to continue with the cancer treatment. In fact, it seems that climbing Kilimanjaro has helped other breast cancer survivors to enhance their well‐being by gaining personal strength, feeling some personal control and supporting a sense of closure. See Burke 2009
This dream became soon a collective endeavour, and together with Milena Gross and Jasmine Pearson (PhD student and PostDoc researchers of the Kili-SES project, respectively), we started training to hike up Kilimanjaro. A training that became essential for coping with the side effects of chemo-, radio- and anti-hormone therapies.
But this adventure means much more...
First, the photos that I take during the hike will (most likely) decorate the chemotherapy room in Lüneburg hospital.
Second, we will hike up the Kilimanjaro Mountain with Sophie from Matriarch Hill Safari, the only tour operator ran by women and that derives part of their income to support East African women’s rights, including the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.
Third, this hike helps other people with cancer who might not be as lucky as me and do not have access to cancer treatment. This is why 60% of the funding collected here will go to treat cancer patients who cannot afford all treatments in the Cancer Care Center at Kilimanjaro .
The remaining 40% of the funding aims to financially support Milena and Jasmine since salaries of PhD students and PostDocs might not be enough for the expenses of the climbing. And I need them to make this dream come true because I am still under cancer treatment!!!
In September 12th, the adventure starts :) and with it, I hope we can help many other people who are dealing with cancer by either contributing to their treatment in Tanzania or by motivating them with the beauty of the mountain when receiving the chemotherapy shot.
Thanks for supporting this project and the wellbeing of people with cancer.
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