Tanya Millington

I wanted to do this challenge out of love and respect for my Nan, who sadly died last year. The day after her death I received a leaflet from Cornwall Air Ambulance about the Kilimanjaro Trek. I felt like this was a sign: to get fit, challenge myself to do something completely alien to me and continue supporting my Nan's charity of choice.I am the girl you see at the supermarket driving round looking for a closest parking space, camping has never been something I would consider and I am terrified of bugs! So climbing Kilimanjaro was completely outside my comfort zone.
It took an unbelievable amount of shear willpower and the fantastic support from the team. No words can describe or explain the friendships that are made on Kilimanjaro, the journey that we were all part of is truly a life changing experience and I for one did not understand this before. I was having a particularly hard day the day before the summit and Shedrack, one of the guides said to me “Maumivu ni ya mdaa fraha ya milele", meaning “pain is temporary, but pride lasts forever”. These words really meant so much to me at the time, and will always stay with me.

Reaching the summit was a tremendous achievement. Once I had reached Stella Point I was beyond exhausted and suffering from the altitude. After many tears, hugs and a hot chocolate from Jeremy I somehow summoned up the energy to continue up to Uhuru peak. I had so many feelings, I was relieved, exhausted, elated, humbled and very emotional. I had done it and it! And proved to myself that I can succeed in all I set out to do. A very proud and special moment in my life.

The best thing about the trip for me is the friendships I have made. These are friendships for life and I have total respect and affection for all of the CAAT Team Kili.

We will never forget this experience which will have life changing consequences for many of us. I am sure that our achievement will now dictate the paths we choose to follow.

Been inspired by Tanya's story? Join us as we trek to Machu Picchu in 2014. Click here for details.