With just 365 days until Team Action Cancer jet off to take on the India Dalai Lama Trek, the excitement is already building for Lisburn pair Donna McIlwaine and Kathleen Lindsay.
To date the intrepid duo have already taken part in six Action Cancer treks raising a staggering £35,000 for the charity.
Kathleen said: “We’ve completed six overseas treks for Action Cancer and it’s very hard to pick out just one favourite. They’ve all been great and provided a real insight into each country. We have so many fantastic memories from our overseas adventures with Action Cancer and we’ve seen so many amazing sights but India has been high on our to-do-list for a while so we’re really looking forward to seeing what it has to offer in 2020.”
The mystical town of Dharamsala in India is home to the Dalai Lama and the starting point for the 2020 Trek which will see participants hiking for 5 days in the foothills of the Himalayas.
In addition to the physical challenge, participants are required to raise a minimum sponsorship of £3,800 for Action Cancer.
Donna continued: “We genuinely enjoy fundraising, so it’s not really as much of a challenge. We both feel grateful to be fit and healthy and able to fundraise and trek for Action Cancer as not everyone is that lucky. Having that focus helps us to keep motivated towards our fundraising target. At car boot sales we might only raise £100, but that’s £100 we didn’t have. It’s £100 off the target and it would pay for somebody to get a breast screening, which may end up saving their life. You just need to look on the positive and keep chipping away at the target.”
The funds raised by overseas challenges such as the India Dalai Lama Trek, go towards the delivery of Action Cancer’s prevention, detection, and support services. Having had several friends in the Action Cancer Group and the Sound of Solace Choir who used Action Cancer’s services, Kathleen knows how positively these services impact the users which spurs her fundraising on.
She explained: “We’ve both been involved in the Lisburn Action Cancer group since the early 1990s. For me, it was the friendship I got from the group and the sense of achievement from fundraising that had me hooked. We had so much fun planning all the different events from Fashion Shows to Carol Services and Bake Sales. It’s amazing how much a few people coming together can actually do to help. I feel that if we can help just one person with the money we raise then we’ve done something good, we’ve used our time well. We don’t do it to get a feel-good factor, it’s a genuine heartfelt desire to leave the world a little bit better than we found it.”
There are limited places on the India Dalai Lama Trek which takes place from October 1 to 11 2020. Each trek participant is fully supported to train for the event and hit the fundraising target by Action Cancer’s Fundraising Team who are on hand to provide advice, motivation and support throughout the challenge.
Donna added: “Sign up for the India trek! Get yourself a bit fitter than you are now and just do it! You’ll certainly not regret it. From start to finish, the support that we get from Action Cancer is fantastic. If you need anything at all there’s always someone from the Action Cancer Fundraising Team at the end of the phone to offer a helping hand or spot of motivation. We’ve had a wonderful journey with Action Cancer so far and we can’t wait to see what 2021 brings!”
For more information on Action Cancer’s India Dalai Lama Trek, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 9080 3349.