Doctors, nurses and admin staff from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) will be joined by family members – making a team of 44 people who will take on the challenge on 16 March.
The group from the hospital’s trauma and orthopaedics department is raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which has launched a £1.2m fundraising appeal to develop services for teenagers and young adults in the East Midlands.
Led by NUH consultant orthopaedic surgeon Tony Westbrook, the team is expected to take eight days to complete the gruelling challenge.
The team decided to take on the challenge after the daughters of two NUH staff members died of cancer, both aged 16. Jayne Newham, Quality Director for the Nottingham Bone Bank, lost her daughter Hannah in March 2008, while Jackie Foster, a Fracture Clinic nurse, lost her daughter Rebecca in November 2008.
Mr Westbrook said: “Helping this very worthwhile charity is our way of remembering them and doing something for future cancer patients.”
Three new teenage cancer wards will cover Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland and Derbyshire:
A five-bed unit at Queen’s Medical Centre
A three-bed unit at Nottingham City Hospital
A five-bed unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary
Special wards are important to give teenagers their own space at this difficult time – rather than placing them in a ward with younger children or older adults.
The Teenage Cancer Trust is planning to spend £650,000 on the two new wards at NUH. They will cater for cancer sufferers aged 13 to 24.
The unit at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, at the QMC, will include a kitchen, therapy room and recreational area. The City Hospital ward will have three en-suite rooms, a therapy room and social space for 19 to 24-year-olds. Work started on the City Hospital ward at the end of February.
Jayne Newham will undertake the climb with husband Gary, daughters Jodie and Belinda, and son Guy. She said: “The challenge has left the family feeling very excited and at times a bit daunted – but with determination, I know we can do it.
“Our strength and determination has come from the fact that we are doing it for our beautiful daughter/sister Hannah, who died from a rare lung cancer in 2008 just a few weeks before her 17th birthday.
“We are so grateful to all of our friends and colleagues who are supporting us on this climb, especially Tony Westbrook who has once again been the driving force. We know we can all do it!”
Jackie Foster added: “My husband and I are doing the climb in memory of our daughter Rebecca, who was in hospital for a long time, undergoing intensive treatments. We wanted to give something back to the NHS as a thank you for the time and care they gave to Rebecca, and at the same time improve the facilities for other young people going through the same thing.”
Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania in East Africa, is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, rising 15,100ft (4,600m) from its base.
To sponsor the group, visit the website: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=TandOKilimanjaro&isTeam=true