Everest climbers reach new heights for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity

Posted 15th May 2017

When gym buddies Sam Evans and Pat Schmider decided they wanted to help The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity they aimed for the top.

Sam and Pat have just returned from Everest Base Camp, an epic eight day trek that tested them to the limit and raised more than £1400 to help transform cancer care.

Sam, 34, is a trainer at 24/7 Fitness in Bromborough, Wirral, where Pat, 47, is a member.

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As keen fitness fans they are always on the lookout for a new challenge and climbing the 20,000 feet to Everest Base Camp for Clatterbridge certainly tested their stamina.

Sam said: “I had watched films about Everest and had done challenges at altitude before, like Machu Picchu in Peru, but this was a whole different level for me.

“It was an incredible experience. Now I think I am looking for the next challenge.”

For Pat, time spent in the Army meant he was mentally prepared for the massive challenge of Everest.

The pair travelled without a guide and carried their own equipment, which meant lugging 25Kg of gear up and down the mountain.

While Sam found elements of the expedition gruelling, Pat, from Bebington, who works in IT, revelled in the challenge.

He said: “I love trekking and I love daydreaming. At first the only thing you think about is your aching muscles then you lose yourself in the experience.”

During training Pat met an experienced walker who offered to lend him a specialist sleeping bag to take with him while Sam, from Bromborough, did extra fundraising during a two hour spin bike event at the gym.

Sam said: “The generosity of people has been overwhelming.”

For Sam the fundraising effort had an extra special meaning as his beloved grandmother Mo Rawlinson had been diagnosed with cancer. She was also suffering from vascular dementia.

She died days before he was due to leave and he carried a photograph of her with him to leave at Base Camp.

Sam said: “I wanted to take her as close to the angels as possible.”

He managed to get back to Merseyside with just hours to spare before the funeral and said that when the going got tough during the climb, he thought about his grandmother.

Sam said: “I had the picture with me and that was on my mind all the time. It was very tough at times but thinking about her made me push myself through.”

The pair raised just under £1,400 and were delighted to hand over the money at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust in Wirral.

The Charity is striving to raise £15 million towards the building of a new cancer hospital in Liverpool city centre.

The specialist centre will treat cancer patients from Merseyside, Cheshire and beyond in addition to the work that will continue at the Wirral site.

Elspeth Wilson, Fundraising Manager for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, said: “I was totally bowled over when I found out what Patrick and Sam had planned – it’s not a challenge for the faint-hearted.

“We’re really pleased they enjoyed the experience and are so grateful that they decided to support the charity with their adventure.

“It was great getting to know Sam and Patrick and hearing all their incredible Everest anecdotes.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to them both for all their support, as well as their friends, family and fellow gym members at 24/7 Fitness in Bromborough who really got behind their challenge.

“Their donations will make a huge difference to the lives of local cancer patients and will help to transform cancer care for future generations.”