The challenges I have set myself are to try and hit over €40,000 fundraising single-handedly, while being a Mom to six kids and a full-time carer of four who are all on the spectrum. I've raised over €38,000 to date in the last year.
I will climb Kilimanjaro in February 2021 and my aim is to raise as much money as I can in doing so. I held some amazing fundraisers pre-Covid but have had to think outside the box for a lot of 2020 due to restrictions. Hence the skydive booked in late December, another fear I'm trying to face head on to raise much needed funds.
In terms of Kilimanjaro, I have never been away from my family for this length of time, so this alone will prove difficult but I'm determined to do it.
We will spend 9 days on Kilimanjaro and begin our climb of the summit on day 8, starting our ascent at 1am in the pitch black with headlamps and dressed in many layers to brave arctic conditions climbing to where the glaciers are, to arrive at Uhuru Peak by sunrise. This will be 19,341ft high, reaching the top of the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Whilst there we hope to hand over almost 600 pairs of shoes, stationery and games that we have collected in the past few weeks to 500 children in two orphanages/schools in Tanzania.
My 18-year-old daughter has put herself forward to come with me as the original three who were due to climb Kilimanjaro all dropped out. My goal is that this humbles both her and I and it gives her the bug of how good it feels to give back.
I'm a big believer in our actions speaking volumes, how our children look to follow our lead and I feel our kids need to experience the world and see how underprivileged people live and how been given their own pair of shoes or having their own pencil is priceless, how grateful they are for so little.
I think we can all do our bit in our own way to give back, this is my way.
I have never even climbed a mountain so I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone while flying the flag for autism, Cork, moms everywhere and for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, from whom we received our Assistance Dog Ebbi last year.
The IGDB are one of three charities who will be the recipients of 100% of all monies raised which I hope to hand over in March/April 2021.
A massive undertaking, I know, but I am determined to do it to try and give back and do my bit to contribute towards the cost of training another amazing dog. It gives me peace of mind knowing I've tried my best to help ensure another family living with autism receives their Assistance Dog or a visually impaired person receives their Guide Dog as when it works, we all know, it is absolute magic.
You can support Lenore's challenge here: