This June, Campbells Partner Guy Manning will attempt to climb Denali (aka Mount McKinley) in Alaska and complete his Seven Summits Challenge, an extraordinary mission to scale the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents in aid of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society’s (CICS) financial aid programme. Guy reached the summit of Mount Everest in 2013, and was able to raise over USD$100k through the generous support of the community and corporate sponsors. Everest was Stage 5 of the challenge, and Guy has since completed Stage 6, an ascent of Carstensz Pyramid in the Indonesian jungle, the highest mountain in Australasia. Denali is the highest point in North America, and should Guy reach the summit he will complete the Seven Summits Challenge.
The expedition aims to raise awareness and desperately needed funds for the CICS financial aid programme. “Every dollar donated goes directly to our local cancer fight,” explains Mr. Manning, who had paid for the cost of the seven expeditions himself and is asking the local community to chip in whatever they can afford to help the CICS directly. “My mother had cancer so I understand something about the struggles and challenges of this disease. There are over 100 courageous women and men currently struggling with both cancer and their expensive medical bills here in Cayman. They depend on the CICS for assistance, and they need our help.”
Nicole D’Heer Watson, Campbells Marketing Manager, adds, “Many people would be surprised to learn that the CICS does not receive formal assistance from the government or elsewhere and is entirely reliant on donations from the community to continue its vital work.”
CICS Operations Manager, Jennifer Weber, says “Guy is an inspiration to the Board of Directors, staff and most importantly the patients the CICS exists to serve. He’s using his passion and elevating it to a higher purpose by making a difference in the lives of real people in the community. When he climbed Everest in 2013 he had our 56 financial aid patients in mind and he made them feel so special. Now, two years later, the number of patients who are counting on us for financial help has nearly doubled. As he climbs Denali, he will be carrying twice the load of love and admiration because at least 100 patients will be thinking of him, as he climbs for them!”
Denali (aka Mount McKinley) is Stage 7 of the challenge. Mr. Manning has already reached the top of Africa (Kilimanjaro at 19,340ft), South America (Aconcagua at 22,830ft), Antarctica (Vinson at 16,067ft), Europe (Mount Elbrus at 18,510ft), Asia (Mount Everest at 29,029ft) and Australasia (Carstensz Pyramid at 16,023ft). He has made two previous attempts to climb North America’s Denali (20,320ft). In 2009 he was hit by a storm shortly below the summit and forced to turn back due to frostbite. He returned in 2012, but his team was pinned down by a storm for 10 days at 14,000 ft. When their food and fuel ran out they had no choice but to descend. Tragically, four climbers from another team descending ahead of them lost their lives in an avalanche. Although Denali is lower than Everest and Aconcagua, the elevation gain of approximately 5,500 m / 18,000 ft from the base to the summit is the largest of any mountain in the world above sea level. The combination of elevation gain, the absence of porters to help with load carrying, and Alaska’s extreme cold and frequent storms make Denali a formidable challenge, a close second only to Everest among the seven summits.
Several corporate sponsors have already stepped forward including, Campbells, Cricket Square, Borrelli Walsh, Deloitte, Delta Group, Fund Solution Services, Grant Thornton, IMAC, PwC, KPMG, Rawlinson & Hunter and Zolfo Cooper but we are still looking for additional support. “I’m very grateful to all of our corporate sponsors” says Manning. “But I also want to encourage the Cayman community to contribute what they can to support the CICS. For more information about Guy, Everest and the Seven Summits Challenge visit: www.sevensummits.ky.