Marianne Stewart and Margaret Gallacher

We are 2 friends who met nearly 30 years ago at the beginning of our nursing careers as student nurses at Stirling Royal Infirmary (SRI) in Forth Valley(FV).

Marianne - Has worked in Intensive Care (ICU) for over 26 years, 1st at SRI & currently in Forth Valley Royal Hospital (FVRH) in Larbert as Education Coordinator for ICU.

Margaret - Started career in a surgical ward then ICU at SRI and now is Complex Care Sister for FV based at Stenhousemuir Health Centre.

Climbing Kilimanjaro will be the biggest physical and mental challenge both have encountered, but we're both committed to putting in the hard work necessary to complete the challenge of a lifetime and making all who know us proud.

Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania in East Africa peaking at 5895m or 19,340ft and is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world measuring about 40km across. Approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually - 2/3 are successful - altitude-related problems - most common reason climbers have to turn back.

We have been touched and inspired into doing this challenge by friends, our colleagues and some of our patients who have required the highly specialised care of Strathcarron Hospice at the end of their precious lives. It takes about £13K per day to run the hospice so every penny we raise counts. We need to complete 80% of the fundraising by June as it has to be all about training hard in the last ¼ before the expedition.

Our training journey has begun which is our personal commitment to getting into the best shape possible for our challenge of a lifetime. We hope you will support us over the coming months and help us raise as much money as possible for the Strathcarron Kilimanjaro 2019 challenge. It is our hope that we may even inspire you to take part in some of our training and indeed help us fund raise for this wonderful charity. We would appreciate any ideas, help & of course any donations over the coming year.

No doubt there will be highs and lows as we prepare in the months ahead, however we feel privileged to be able to take part and represent team Strathcarron. We hope we'll make you proud and join us on our journey - in spirit. We cannot do it without you, our amazing family, friends and colleagues, so please help take team “MarzMagzKili19” to the summit of Africa :-))

Update 7th of August 2019
It's with great sadness with 6 weeks to go that Margaret is having to pull out of our trek. Some of you may know that Margaret fractured her fibula on the descent of Ben Nevis back in May as we were training. At every point until now we really hoped she would recover and be able to still do the challenge. With 6 weeks to go Margaret has had to make the devastating decision to withdraw as her fracture hasn't healed sufficiently to be able to take on this mammoth mountain. Unfortunately time has run out and this difficult decision has had to be made.

I am totally gutted that I won't have my buddy on this challenge of my life, but, I promise to do her and everyone else proud. In her words to the rest of the group doing Kili for Strathcarron "everything happens for a reason I just can't see it yet" It was always going to be a huge mountain to climb it just seems even more challenging now but I'll do my best.

Thanks to all who have supported us over the last year, it's been the most difficult, intense time but we hope the money we have raised will make a difference to Strathcarron. That's why we signed up ......
thank you

Marianne Stewart and Margaret Gallacher