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Melksham woman to climb Kilimanjaro a year after heart surgery

A WOMAN from Melksham is set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro despite having open heart surgery just last year. 

Rebecca Taylor will begin her trek to the Uhuru Peak on Thursday 4th September which at 5,895 metres is the highest free-standing mountain in the world and the highest in Africa.

Only last year she had open heart surgery and the climb will represent a remarkable recovery. She has been given the green light by her GP and a stroke specialist at the RUH to attempt Kilimanjaro.

She will take on the challenge with fellow students from Bournemouth University and is expected to take six days to climb and a further two to get back down. Rebecca is completing the climb to raise money for the charity Hope for Children. She has already surpassed her target of £2,990 as she has raised £3,242 and hopes to increase this further.

Rebecca has been training hard by cycling almost everywhere and by completing training walks up large hills. She said, “The open heart surgery won’t hold me back as doctors have said I should be able to do things like any other person. I think the hardest aspect will be the altitude sickness as I haven’t been able to do training for that.

“The training has gone really well actually and the fundraising has been fantastic. I’ve had so much support from so many people. Currently I am the top fundraiser in my team, having smashed my target at £3,242 which is amazing. The charity Hope for Children will benefit greatly from the extra funds raised.

“I chose this challenge as I joined the ‘Raising and Giving’ (RAG) society at Bournemouth University. I joined it because I wanted to fundraise for a charity who helped disadvantaged children. When I chose my challenge I chose Kilimanjaro because that challenge fundraises for Hope For Children. I have nephews, a niece and younger brothers, and to know that there are children their ages or even younger suffering isn’t right.  I have never done anything like this before. It’s beyond a new level for me; I feel pretty crazy for entertaining the idea of climbing a mountain.

Rebecca’s friend Simone Partner has set up a blog regarding the trek. She said, “Becky is a humble individual with a huge heart, whose story will leave you feeling inspired.

“In 2013, Becky underwent major heart surgery for a hole which made her heart three times bigger. This increased pressure which inevitably caused her to suffer two strokes. She was only 19. As you can imagine, she never thought a year from her surgery she would be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity!

“We support Becky who has swapped her high heels for walking boots, a bed for a tent and real food for rations. What a great personal challenge. You can do this! Becky needs as much as possible, even just a pound, a little can make a difference! I’ve donated, have you?”

To sponsor Rebecca visit her personal fundraising page www.2014bournemouth.everydayhero.com/uk/rebecca