A go-getting young engineer tackled chilling cold and arduous terrain to help beat Alzheimer’s.
Former Ellesmere Port Catholic High student Samantha Thompson, 26, from Great Sutton, works in Heysham as a project engineer on the nuclear power plant.
Both her nans are from the town with Kathleen, 78, living in a care home on the Wirral with vascular dementia and Klara, 81 living locally with Alzheimer’s.
From the moment Klara was diagnosed in 2013 Samantha decided to start fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society due to all their efforts in supporting her nans as well as the family.
Samantha said: “In 2014 my mother and I did a skydive raising £2,000 then in 2015 I ran the London marathon and raised £5,000.
“I decided to set my sights higher and I wanted a challenge that would be mentally tough as well as physically but also a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“The biggest challenge I could think of was Mount Everest Base Camp.” Standing at 5,380m (17,600 ft), the camp is five times higher than Mount Snowdon.
With friends Jack Pennington, 23, a pipe fitter, George Tiesteel, 23, a planner and Josh Groves, 24, a rigger the team, which they named the ‘Mile High Club’, jetted off to the Himalayas on their 19-day expedition.
Expedition organisers Discover Adventure describe the terrain they traversed as ‘tough’ and the altitude ‘unforgiving’.
The route took in the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar through beautiful valleys, dense forests and across glacial rivers before reaching the renowned viewpoint of Kalapatar on the approach to Everest Base Camp.
With awe-inspiring views of Everest and the surrounding peaks and time to explore the sights of Kathmandu the team reached a high point of 5,545m involving up to nine hours trekking on the longest days and stays in simple tea-houses in remote mountain villages apart from the cold at the highest altitudes.
The reward saw Samantha surpassing her £1,000 target with £2,215 from 64 supporters plus £507.50 in Gift Aid.
Ahead of the trip backers Berny and Billy wished her well and said: “Good luck Sam we all know you will be absolutely amazing. Reach for the stars.”
On her return, Suzanne and Ju posted: “Amazing achievement for such a worthy cause. Well done.”