Marathoner and mountain-climbing friend and colleague at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Ting Kang Nee, is thick in preparations for a 13-day challenge hike to Everest Base Camp from April 24th to May 6th, 2013. Kang Nee’s expedition, dubbed Climb For Life, also seeks to raise funds for the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), Hospice Penang and cancer patients, including a recent Engineering graduate of the University, Dominic Lee, who has been diagnosed with a rare stage four spine cancer (see below for the infosheet that was put together by the University’s Alumni Relations Office on Dominic). It is part of a cancer awareness campaign organised by the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University, which Kang Nee heads. [Ed.: Dominic Lee passed away on April 17, 2013. Deepest condolences to Dominic’s family, and may he rest in peace. ‘Climb For Life’ will be in memory of Dominic and donations will also go to Dominic’s family.]
Kang Nee approached me recently for assistance in spreading the word on her cause, with hopes to increase the amount of donations so that a meaningful collection can be made for the beneficiaries. I decided to help out by posting this blog entry, not least because cancer awareness is a cause close to my heart, having family and friends who are cancer survivors and also having lost close family members to the disease.
Everest Base Camp is, literally, not for the faint-hearted. Yes, we are talking about the Mount Everest, highest mountain in the world, in the Himalayas. There are two ‘base camps’ at Everest, one located on the southern slopes of the mountain in Nepal, and the other on the northern side, in Tibet. The base camps are campsites that are used by mountain climbers in the course of their ascent and descent of Everest. Kang Nee will hike to South Base Camp, located in Nepal at 5,545 metres (18,187 ft) above sea level. During her journey, she will be covering over 100 kilometres of challenging terrain and hike a vertical distance of 2,700 kilometres (9,000 ft), over 13 days, which includes 3 days for acclimatisation to the elevation. Just to put this in perspective, the summit of Mount Kinabalu (highest mountain in Malaysia and highest between the Himalayas and New Guinea) stands at a mere 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea level in comparison; Everest Base Camp is 1,450 metres (4,752 ft) further up vertically from the highest point of Kinabalu. That translates to plenty of stamina and mental focus required, not to mention having to tackle unknowns in respect of the physiological impacts of high altitude.
No stranger to adventures in high places, Kang Nee has been atop Mt Rinjani (Lombok, Indonesia), Mt Agung (Bali, Indonesia), Ben Nevis (Scotland) and Mount Kinabalu (Sabah, Malaysia) (twice). This spunky lady is also a distance runner, having completed a full marathon in Paris in aid of a children’s charity in the UK, in 2000. (For the uninitiated, the marathon distance is 42.195km (26.2 miles), or, roughly, the distance from Petaling Jaya to Semenyih, plus a bit more.)
Kang Nee will personally bear the costs and expenses of the hike so that the entire proceeds of Climb For Life will go to the beneficiaries. Kang Nee says, in the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus’ official press release on the climb, “I have close friends and relatives who have been diagnosed with cancer and some have been cured of the disease. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misunderstanding about cancers. More research and understanding on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer is vital. I am taking on this challenge to seek support and donations with the aim to create more awareness about this disease and to help cancer patients.”
Please donate generously to this cause at https://epay.nottingham.edu.my. At the webpage, please select “Donation” and type “Cancer” under “Payment Description”. Receipts will be given, though no tax exemptions are applicable.