A New Zealand grandmother is preparing to tackle the grueling trek from her island home to Mount Everest, in hopes of raising awareness and money for children affected by cerebral palsy disorders.
Grandmother Sets Sights On Charity Trek To Everest
The Everest Base Camp Trek for Cerebral Palsy was organized by the Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand and Inspired Adventures, a travel company that partners with charities worldwide to organize fundraising trips like the one on which Rose Watemberg will soon embark.
Watemberg’s grandson, Korbyn Green, was diagnosed with the neuromuscular condition at birth. While he cannot talk or walk, “he is always smiling,” Watemberg told reporters at the Taranaki Daily News. The trip to Everest, she says, is for Korbyn.
“I’m gonna do it,” Watemberg told reporters. “If I put my mind to something I will make sure I succeed in this, especially for something that means a lot to me.” While the journey before her will be demanding, Watemberg says it’s nothing when compared to the challenges faced by her grandson.
A fulltime receptionist, Watemberg has spent much of the last five years helping to raise funds for her grandson’s care. Korbyn’s parents have been able to afford a number of assistive devices, but now the family needs help to support Watemberg on her journey. Everyone who signs up for the trip has set a fundraising goal of $4,500 to support the Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand, a foundation devoted to offering practical programs for children and families affected by cerebral palsy disorders. On top of this fundraising target, Watemberg needs to raise over $6,000 to cover the cost of her trip.
The Journey To Base Camp
Watemberg’s trip is scheduled to begin on March 23, 2018, when she will touch down in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal in the foothills of the Himalyas. From there, the grandmother will fly to Lukla, a popular gathering place for hikers and travelers hoping to brave Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain.
After arriving in Lukla, the hikers will journey to the small village of Phakding, at an elevation of 8,562 feet, where they will spend two days acclimating to the altitude. From here, guides from Inspired Adventures will take Watemberg over the last 20 miles of treacherous mountain path to the Everest Base Camp – at a whopping elevation of 17,598 feet. Watemberg’s home – New Plymouth, New Zealand – rests at a more modest altitude, around 2,260 feet.
The Everest Base Camp Trek for Cerebral Palsy has been organized as one portion of the New Zealand charity’s Steptember initiative, which asks members of the public to walk 10,000 steps every day for 28 days in September. As the nonprofit writes, funds raised from the event are meant to ensure that all “Australians and New Zealanders living with cerebral palsy live a fulfilling, independent and inclusive life.”