May is typically the most popular time of year for avid trekkers to tackle the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, with warmer temperatures and the typical high-altitude ‘jet’ winds moving away from the mountain.
This year, two Sunshine Coast health workers are in Nepal and on their own journeys to make a difference back home.
No stranger to the traversing the Himalayas, Nambour allied health worker Gary Mckitterick Gillett is in Nepal rounding up his annual Trek for Parkinson’s Disease.
More than two years since he last set foot at Everest Base Camp, and holding the event virtually since 2020, Mr Mckitterick Gillett and his team at Trek Ready Himalayas raise money to support the Shake It Up Australia Foundation.
“So far we have raised $5000 and hope to reach our goal of $10,000,” he says. “Every step we have taken and every metre we have climbed has been to help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Altitude presents some challenges, but we were prepared and adapted well, taking our time.”
Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast dad and nursing director Lee Holmes is gearing up to trek the Everest region to raise money for distractive resources to support patients suffering symptoms of delirium.
“On May 29, I will be taking on my biggest fitness challenge yet,” he says. “I’ll be competing in the highest and most adventurous marathon in the world – the Mount Everest Marathon.
“This high-altitude adventure sports event in Nepal will see me crisscrossing the Sherpa trails of Khumbu Valley for 42 kilometres, and I hope to complete it within six to eight hours.
“Through this challenge I’ll be raising funds to help patients in hospital suffering symptoms of delirium.
“I have teamed up with Sunshine Coast hospital charity Wishlist to fund resources like iPads, games, blankets, robotic dogs and other distractive resources for a special project I am setting up to care for confused older patients within our hospital service.”