Russell Zahn, Michelle Van den Broek and Jan Gielis will travel to the word’s highest mountain.
Russell Zahn, Michelle Van den Broek and Jan Gielis will travel to the word’s highest mountain. John Gass

Group taking on Mt Everest

FOUR brave Tweed residents will undertake the journey of a lifetime when they travel to Mt Everest.

Jan Gielis, Russell Zahn and Michelle Van den Broek, of Kingscliff, and Suzanne Hawkins, formerly of Tyalgum, will trek to the base camp of the world's highest mountain in a bid to raise much-needed funds for the Leukaemia Foundation.

The group will embark on their journey on Thursday when they depart from Brisbane International Airport.

The Tweed adventurers will arrive in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, to begin their four-week, 18,000-foot climb to Mt Everest's base camp.

Ms Van den Broek saidthat after months of preparation and planning, the group members were ready for their odyssey.

“This is something I have wanted to do since I was in grade three when I read my first Mt Everest book about Sir Edmund Hillary,” Ms Van den Broek said.

“I've always wanted to go there and I have always wanted to do this.

“You can't just talk about these things; you have to go out and do them.”

The group is hoping to raise $10,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation.

“I chose the Leukaemia Foundation for both personal and professional reasons after establishing several precious relationships with leukemia patients through my work with the Queensland Ambulance Service,” Ms Van den Broek said.

“After several of them lost their battles, in addition to my own personal reasons, I decided that if I was going to do something like this I may as well make it work for a worthy cause.”

Ms Van den Broek hopes Mother Nature does not spoil her plans on this trek. Her first attempt to scale the mountain was cancelled when international air travel was thrown into disarray by the Icelandic volcanic eruption in April last year.

“This year I'll be leaving slightly earlier and I have managed to recruit two mates, Jan Gielis and Russell Zahn, and my sister Suzanne Hawkins, to come with me, so it has all worked out okay in the end.”

Tweed residents who would like to contribute to the group's cause can make a donation at Russell Zahn's optometry in Kingscliff Shopping Village.



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