Verna's Kilimanjaro Cause

$3,000 goal

Campaign created 10 months ago
In January, 2019, I will be doing a major awareness/fundraising effort in support of those who suffer from the mental illness with the highest mortality rate - eating disorders.

I will be hiking to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa's highest mountain) in Tanzania to promote hope, empowerment, healing, and most of all, STAYING ALIVE and WELL!

My aim is to focus on SOLUTIONS versus illness, HOPE versus struggle, and EMPOWERMENT versus strife; to inspire HEALTHY MINDS, and therefore HEALTHY BODIES.

In my role as an Empowerment Coach, I have come to terms with the bigger truth of why I do what I do. The cornerstone passion is my own personal history with eating disorders that consumed most of my life. It has been my personal "mountain," and I have spent my life climbing.

I am one of the fortunate who have "made it," and though I still face shadows from time to time, I know I am strong now. I am well. I know others can be too! It all starts with awareness, de-stigmatizing, and a whole lot of passion to be well.

Those who are dying or in severe medical crisis are those at the heart of why I am climbing to "The Roof of Africa" (Kilimanjaro's nickname).

But I am also doing it for those of us who are winning the struggle everyday. My main aim and my cause is about inspiring healthy bodies by empowering healthy minds.

"Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that affect a person’s emotional and physical health. Like any mental illness, they bring with them misunderstanding, guilt, shame, fear, anxiety and depression making the disease hard to treat and isolating both those with the eating disorder and their families." - from Silver Linings Foundation website.

I have set up a Facebook Page that will include updates of my preparations this year. They will include presentations at local businesses, personal training for physical/mental stamina, and further educating myself and the public on the seriousness of this secret disorder.

Yes, "secret," because it is a mental illness with a stigma so big that many do not disclose their struggle until they are in medical crisis. The hardest hit are female youth, but "It has recently been stated that there are 800,000 Canadian men currently suffering with eating disorders." - Silver Linings Foundation. Staggering? Yes!

Mt. Kilimanjaro: It is also the highest free-standing (not part of a range) mountain in the world. Every year over 25,000 people begin the climb, guided by trained, experienced porters. Only 50-75% make it to the summit. Altitude sickness is the primary factor that forces 25-50% to turn back. My best bet in making it to the glaciers, past five climate zones up the mountain, is to take this whole year to train.

The oldest person to reach the Kilimanjaro's summit was 88! They say physical fitness is not the main determinant in a successful climb (albeit, an important factor) but the main criteria are: ability to withstand the altitude ... a difference of 50% oxygen from the base of the mountain ... and a determination to succeed.

Please share this page to your networks! Thank you for helping!

https://www.gofundme.com/vernaskilimanjarocause

"The power of one, if fearless and focused, is formidable, but the power of many working together is better." - Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Verna Bowen
Empowerment LIfe Coach
Calgary, Alberta
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$3,000 goal

Campaign created 10 months ago
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