A letter reproduced below with kind permission from my taekwondo instructor. If you could do anything to pass on to others, it would be really appreciated. I am not able to join them but will be using all the energy I might have used getting up there to assist with fundraising over the next few months.
“In February 2011, I, and a group of fellow conspirators, are intending to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity. We need your support!!!!!
As you may, or may not, know I am suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and this may be the last time I have this opportunity to attempt something like this (though, trust me, it will not stop me from trying – I am going through my bucket list now). My ability to carry out this task will be tested to the maximum, hence my need to cajole and coerce others to help get me up (and back) the mountain.
At present we, as a group, are intending to raise over £10,000 in charitable donations. So we are going to need your help.
Though I have Parkinson’s my chosen charity surprisingly is not a Parkinson’s charity. Instead I have chosen a favorite charity of mine, ‘Save the Rhino International’. At first this may seem a strange choice. However I have listed my reasons below.
Firstly it is a charity that I have supported for some time. Compared to other worthy causes they are desperately short of funds and the ‘small’ amounts that I/We can raise will have a major impact that can be visibly seen. As mentioned this may be the last and only time I can do something like this for them.
Other charities I can think of receive millions (if not billions) in grants, donations and research handouts. My efforts would be a drop in the ocean.
Why rhino’s? No reason in particular. They have been on the planet for over 350 million years and are close to extinction within the next century. Once gone it will be too late to do something about it. The world would be a poorer place for our children, so in one respect our efforts would have real global and long term effects. Parkinson’s, Help the Heroes and Great Ormond Street Hospital will still be around when I am dead and buried. I would like to think that the rhinoceros will still be around too.
By saving the rhino we help solve some of the other problems with the world. Rhino conservation helps save vast tracts of land and consequently many other species. They help maintain the ecological viability of these areas. By providing jobs and supporting local infrastructure (schools, education, water-supplies, medicines etc) ‘Save the Rhino’ helps alleviate some of the problems the world faces today; poverty, poor-sanitation, over-population, food security to name but a few. All of which will have a direct impact on life in the UK.
Conservation is something I am passionate about. Daily we watch programmes about the dire state of the world. We are moved by the plight of famine in Africa or the devastation of the oil spill in America, this is, therefore, a real chance for me to put my money where my mouth is and do something….for everyone!
Being an ex-soldier, I support several military charities, indeed I have several compatriots currently being treated at Headley Court, and one of my peers is the co-founder of ‘Help the Heroes’. However supporting these worthy charities is treating the effects not the cure for the conflicts. I believe that unless we address the environmental and conservation issues surrounding us today then conflict is inevitable and unstoppable.
Oh….and Stephen Fry supports ‘Save the Rhino’ along with late Douglas Adams, the founding patron of the charity.”
You can donate direct to http://bit.ly/a6XKMW