This week, wheelchair-bound paraplegic, Shaun Gash, shares his incredible plans to climb Kilimanjaro.
My name is Shaun. I live in Lancaster in the UK and I am a wheelchair-bound paraplegic – that means I’m completely paralysed from my chest down.
I am always looking for the next big challenge to put myself into situations where I can test my strength, character and determination. But as importantly inspire others to push their boundaries when they are faced with a barrier.
For example, last year I completed two 10km marine obstacle courses, both designed by Born Survivor and situated in the beautiful Lowther Castle in Penrith and Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire respectively. This year I have another planned in April and a Gelt Gladiators in May (which will be the first for any wheelchair competitor).
I am also undertaking a sky dive in June with 30 other friends and family to help raise money for another charity, The Neuro Foundation. This is separate to the obstacle courses but with the same motivation to help others. The challenge will be filmed by the BBC Songs of Praise programme where they will have the whole programme based around what we are doing.
I have raised over £20,000 so far with the challenges I have set.
This is my inspiration to help others and make a small difference in their lives by providing the monies needed to buy equipment such as wheelchairs etc.
The biggest challenge I have set myself so far will unfold in August 2016, where myself and a team will be climbing Kilimanjaro.
This is the ultimate challenge in anyone’s eyes but more so for me as I’m in a wheelchair and completely paralysed from my chest. This is going to be an incredible achievement and experience and will be both physically and emotionally demanding.
We plan to follow the Rongai route on Kilimanjaro as it is one of relative solitude, less travelled than the Lemosho and Machame Routes. We will complete this trip in 9 days following an organised itinerary of events from start to finish.
I am raising money for CancerCare and also a small Children’s charity Alexandra House. Alexandra House’s primary purpose is to provide short term breaks, up to a maximum of 120 days per year, to young people with a severe learning disability, physical disabilities and complex health needs, and to contribute to the agreed Care Plan which will include working with other agencies, to meet the needs of young people and families.
Training for this incredible challenge has already begun and I very much look forward to sharing my story here and on other sites as I edge closer to the Roof of Africa. Feel free to follow my journey on Twitter.