Thursday, 09 February 2012
A student nurse at the University of Worcester will climb Mount Kilimanjaro this month, after forging a friendship with the most wounded British soldier to survive the Afghanistan conflict.
Lucinda Caddick is tackling the challenge to raise money for Pilgrim Bandits, a charity for forces amputees. She has already raised over £4,000 for the charity and will set off on the trek on Wednesday, February 15.
But Lucinda said she could not have prepared for the climb without the help of an £800 scholarship from the University to help purchase all her equipment and pay for vaccinations and medical supplies.
“The scholarship has been a real lifeline to me, I don’t know what I would have done without it,” said the 35-year-old, who is in the second year of a nursing degree.
Lucinda has been training hard, both in the gym and also out on the Malvern Hills as well as climbing Snowdon and the Brecons.
“I’ve tried to do as much as I can to prepare myself, but what I’m really worried about is getting altitude sickness,” she said. “I really don’t want to get this far, having raised all this money, only to fail through altitude sickness.”
She will complete the charity climb alongside five amputees, and with a photograph and special message from her friend Ben in her back pocket.
“Whenever it gets tough I will just look at Ben’s photo and read his card and remember what he has been through and his determination,” she said.
Lucinda became aware of the charity at an event three years ago, where she met Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson of the 7th Parachute Regiment, who at the time communicated through an electronic lightwriter.
She said: “Ben is known as the most wounded British soldier to survive the battlefield, losing both his legs and having a total of 37 separate injuries. He was told that he would never walk or talk again, yet four years on he is proving the medics wrong on both counts.
“This is due both to his own dogged determination and the support of charities like Pilgrim Bandits. He is a real inspiration to me and he has taught me that anything is possible if you have self belief.”