Maroochydore local to trek Kilimanjaro for charity

Caroline Durkin will climb Mount Kilimanjaro later this year to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Australia.
Caroline Durkin will climb Mount Kilimanjaro later this year to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Australia. Jordan Cullen

IF YOU could wish for anything, what would it be?

For some, a simple wish can bring a smile to a child's face during a terrible time.

Caroline Durkin is raising funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, helping wishes come true for children across Australia, facing the worst battle of their lives.

She will be one of 15 Australians taking on a gruelling test of courage, commitment and perseverance, when they set out to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa on September 12.

It will take seven days to conquer and although Caroline is visiting a nutritionist and personal trainer, the climb was not all about fitness, she said.

"Altitude is a funny thing. It doesn't matter how fit you are, if you can't adjust, then you could suffer altitude sickness. So basically, I'm just trying to get as fit as I can be," she said.

To prepare, she has been doing smaller hikes, to warm up for the big event.

"We have some team events in July and August at the Blue Mountains in Sydney," she said.

"On one morning, we will be starting at 3am and walking in the dark and cold."

Elephant matriarch in front of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
Elephant matriarch in front of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

The Maroochydore local said she was organising a State of Origin fundraising night, to raise enough money to meet the minimum target of $7000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Australia.

"I am doing an outdoor viewing of the game, with a big screen at Lake Kawana," she said.

"There will be a cost for entry but having that atmosphere of being outside and watching the football and having food stalls and drink stalls will be great.

"It's that real community feeling, getting together and being able to support something, while enjoying it, too."

Caroline said the cause she was fighting for really hit home and she felt fortunate to be able to contribute to helping brighten a child's life.

"I lost my dad to cancer 11 years ago," she said.

"I know what it is like to lose a parent but I can't imagine losing a child.

"It pulls at the heart strings when you think about losing somebody.

"So, doing something for people in that situation is such a fulfilling experience."

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Topics:  africa fundraiser make-a-wish foundation mount kilimanjaro travel

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