Imagine clinging to a rock-face over 100m off the ground when all of a sudden it starts to snow…
This is just one of the challenges ACRF supporter, Michael Gunter, had to deal with while completing two big climbs in NSW’s Blue Mountains region.
Michael’s decision to do something extraordinary for cancer research is an inspirational story, showing true strength and determination throughout a harrowing cancer journey.
Only months ago, Michael completed chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.
He started training just one month into his chemotherapy schedule, and it was at this point that he decided he was going to keep his eye on the prize with a “Climb for Cancer” event, once his round of chemotherapy was over.
Michael told us, “After the initial 2 weeks I started doing some exercise again. I went on some decent length walks and was fine, so after a month I decided to really challenge myself.”
“A few mates were going for a scramble up Mt Maroon (recommended return time 6 hours) and I decided to go along to see how my body handled it. We could always turn back if I thought I couldn’t but I handled it fine. Of course, I was significantly slower than normal, but I got to the summit no worries.”
With his original climb, ‘Bunny Bucket Buttress’, closed off due to bushfires a few weeks ago, Michael decided to take on two separate climbs – both over 100m high, in Leura.
Arriving in NSW on 19th November, Michael spent the week waiting for the weather to clear up so that he could climb up a nice dry rock surface. He faced very cold, wet and surprisingly snowy conditions during his training days.
Finally on Monday 30th Michael was given the all clear to take on his two climbs in one day: a 120m climb called Sweet Dreams and a 145m climb called Whymper.
So far Michael has raised over $3,000 for world class cancer research in Australia and we are so, so grateful for his support. We are in awe of his passion and dedication as well as his strength.
Michael is an inspiration to those fighting cancer, but also to those who are watching loved ones go through this terrible disease.
If you would like to find out more about Michael’s story please click here.