During March, our very own Ciaran Hannington, a member of staff in the Ackworth School Autism Resource tackled the challenge of trekking to Everest base camp to raise awareness of male infertility. He set off on the trek on 8 March and reached base camp within 2 weeks, at an altitude of 5,364m. Read Ciaran’s story below …
Arron Sutton, Tony Suckling, Ciaran, and Ian Stones on route to Everest Base Camp
“As a child I fell in love with the mountains during our annual holidays to the Lake District. Since then I have always had the dream of summiting Mount Everest and standing on top of the world. When I was asked if I wanted to trek to Everest base camp to raise awareness of Male Infertility and raise much needed funds for Fertility Network UK I jumped at the chance.
Nepal is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, the people were welcoming and the mountains inviting. I was asked yesterday whether I would return. And the answer is yes! Despite chilling temperatures of -21 and the gradual onset of altitude sickness it was an experiment that changed my life. The thing I took most form the experience was gratitude. Gratitude for the world we live in and the opportunities we have available to us. Things that we take for granted, like clean running water is not available in most of the world and I was humbled by the peace and happiness the Nepalese people presented despite facing so many daily difficulties.
Everest base camp sits 5,364 meters above sea level. The oxygen levels are 50% lower than that of sea level and with an average temperature of -17 degrees it is a challenging experience. Despite all the difficulties I felt driven to succeed. I felt empowered by the support I received and by the knowledge I was actively raising awareness of male infertility and Fertility Network UK.
Male infertility is on the rise, with some research suggesting that fertility levels in men have fallen by 1% each year since the 1970’s. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to visit such an amazing place and feel overwhelmed and humbled with the support I continue to receive in relation to the trek. The whole experience is something I will never forget.”
Ciaran Hannington, Specialist Learning Support Mentor in the Autism Resource