Everest Base Camp Volunteers Dinner

On Sunday 30th December 2018, a community event was organised by volunteers of the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal (IKCA) in support of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Pakistan. Councillor Zafar Ali, The Lord Mayor of Bradford, and the Trustees of IKCA also attended and supported the event.

In October 2018, a group of 13 volunteers from the UK travelled to the Himalayas to undertake the challenge of hiking to Everest Base Camp, at an altitude of 5,340m with some of the team also reaching the summit of Kala Patthar, at an altitude of 5,550m. The team endured some challenging conditions, reaching temperatures of below -12 degrees centigrade, where beyond an altitude of 5,000m, they even reported that their water froze in their bottles. Many of the team members reported difficulty with breathing in the final days of the trek but upon descent, they found their bodies capable of recovery.

The event reunited the IKCA Everest Base Camp Challenge team and provided an opportunity to share with the community, not only footage from the trek in the Himalayas but more importantly give thanks to the community for supporting the team’s fundraising efforts which has managed to raise in excess of £50,000. These funds have been repatriated to cancer patients in Pakistan who could not otherwise have afforded treatment.

Halima Nawaz from Leeds, who was part of the team that went to Everest Base Camp said, “The community event raised awareness for a noble charitable cause as well as bringing our community together to recognise that we could not have done any of this without the support of others. Seeing the total of our combined fundraising efforts surpass £50,000 just goes to show that the real summit cannot be reached without the generosity of others. For our personal efforts, my brother and I are pleased to report that our fundraising efforts have paid for the treatment of a little boy (4) who was diagnosed with leukaemia in May 2017. Today that little boy is out of hospital and cleared of cancer. Whilst, I fell sick at high altitude in the Himalayas, I was able to choose to end my sickness by descending and this whole experience has given me a renewed sense of appreciation for good health and access to healthcare. There are people suffering from cancer in remote regions who come to Shaukat Khanum hospitals in Pakistan hoping for access to healthcare. They cannot choose to end their sickness unless we also choose to help them attain the healthcare they need.”

IKCA organise a variety of events throughout the year calling on volunteers all over the UK to get involved with fundraising activities in their local communities. This year, IKCA will be setting new challenges and continuing the traditional ones.

If you would like to participate in 2019 annual hiking (or other) challenges with IKCA to raise funds for cancer patients in Pakistan, please contact Mr Shafiq Rafiq at IKCA, shafiq@ikca.org.uk


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