Climbing For My Donor

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The Team




Martin Carby
Consultant Respiratory Physician at Harefield Hospital.
I’m looking forward to the climb in recognition of the organ donors and their families who have given a remarkable gift of a lung transplant to the people I look after in my professional life. It seems to me quite fitting that people who have had a lung transplant are doing something remarkable of their own to highlight the benefits of the gift of an organ transplant and help the healthcare community in our work to maximise organ donation. I hope I can offer some moral support and encouragement to the group in achieving their goal. Mountains ranges are beautiful places, the scale of which is unimaginable unless seen with ones own eyes. I love climbing through the night to see the sun come up from beneath a sea of clouds at dawn, it has a beauty that leaves a lasting impression and makes any part of the discomfort of climbing worthwhile for me.

Paul Taylor (aged 46) - Married with 2 Children
Double Lung Transplant - 2013
After a short but very aggressive illness (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis ) I had a very successful double lung transplant, I spent 2 months in Harefield Hospital and year recovering at home before returning to work as a London Taxi Driver. I think I must have angels sitting on my shoulders watching over me .





Justine Laymond
Double Lung Transplant - July 2000
I suffered with one of the world's rarest conditions called, Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), 15 lung collapses, 3 week coma, 2 months on life support and learning to walk again.

Since transplant I have set goals to achieve each year I'm alive post transplant.

This has seen me partake in UK, European, and World Transplant Games (winning many medals in various sport disciplines).

I extremely pleased to be part of the Ecuador expedition as I have never climbed a mountain before and this is definitely something I would love to achieve as part of this team.








Richard Eagles
Lung Transplant - 2011
In 2013 my wife gave birth to our twins. My transplant has given me new lease of life and enabled me to have a family.

I never let the shadow of Cystic Fibrosis affect my decisions or stop me doing anything when I was growing up and also in adulthood. I intend to continue with this same attitude post transplant. 

I’ve always had a positive outlook and I keep myself as strong and fit as possible at the gym. I enjoy a challenge and pushing myself, so this trip could be just what I'm looking for. I've enjoyed the very minimal climbing experience that I've had, loved the mountains when I've skied on them but have never tried to climb one, or a volcano for that matter. I'm very grateful to the donor, family and the medical staff who are the reason I'm still here. I've been wondering how I can give something back, which this climb could allow me to do.




Emily Hoyle
Lung Transplant - 2012
Since my transplant the best things I notice are the mornings. I can now spring out of bed and have energy straight away, instead of feeling all the rubbish in my lungs and not being able to move.

I keep pinching myself this has all actually happened. I feel like I have won the lottery. There is not anything that can prepare you for some of the torture you are put through, but wow is it worth it and who knows what the future now holds.

I want to do this climb in honour of my donor and the person that saved my life, also to prove how much I can achieve, that it is an amazing gift and that I am still alive.

Alan Lees
Heart Transplant
Experienced mountaineer & high altitude climber who suffered a heart attack in 1993 whilst ascending an 8,00m peak.  Now resuming my climbing to promote organ donation; summiting Kilimanjaro in August 2014.








Amanda Chalmers
Double Lung Transplant - Sept 2012
My Transplant was due to a massive decline in my health from having Cystic Fibrosis. At the time I was on 24 hour oxygen and had dropped out of university early as I couldn’t carry on with my course of Metalwork and ceramics and had to give up playing sport. 

After my transplant I worked hard to gain back my strength and competed in the transplant games the following summer in archery, tennis and running events gaining a gold, silver and bronze medal. A year on from my transplant, I had begun playing in goal in hockey again and joined my local club, and had also signed myself up to enter the Brighton Marathon in 2014.

Work wise, I am currently setting up my own jewellery business as well working part time in an admin role, but my main focus is enjoying life and finding new challenges to tackle! The expedition would be my most exciting and challenging event to date. I love new challenges and what they bring and working towards a goal is an amazing thing when it’s finally achieved. 

John Fisher (aged 52) Married with 2 Children/3 Grandkids
Heart Transplant - July 2000
Since transplant I have taken part in several sporting events to raise awareness, such as Marathons, Triathlons, Cycling and The European & British Transplant Games.
None of these has prepared me for this my greatest chellenge since transplant.

Victoria Corney-Young (aged 40)
Double Lung Transplant - August 2010

I was in my early 30’s when I received my diagnosis of CF. It was late in life due to carrying a rare gene. I was forced to give up work, give in and use a wheelchair and come to terms with my illness. I became quite reclusive. Not the real me at all.
I received my transplant on the first call and although I had a little blip during recovery, 6 weeks later I was walking along the seafront in Dover with no breathlessness. It was an amazing feeling.

Mick Foster
Heart Transplant - May 1993

Mick is no stranger to endurance sports, he ran 26 Marathons, in 26 days, to celebrate his 20th year post heart transplant.
He is a builder by trade and built his own house, something any body would find hard to do, especially post heart transplant.

Heart Transplant












James Arthur
Heart Transplant

Just as everything seemed to be laid out infront of us our world got turned upside down… As life tends to do… I had no idea I had a genetic heart condition. I was really quite fit and just 9 weeks after moving to Devon I was working in London and suddenly collapsed. Up until this point I was known as the guy who never got ill… As I was laying on the floor at work, I could hear my colleagues calling an ambulance and talking about a heart attack. I was relieved when the paramedics arrived that there seemed to be nothing wrong with my heart after their basic checks. I spent the night in the local hospital and was due a few follow up checks the next morning before going home.

The next morning I was greeted by a cardiologist who requested I have an ECHO to rule out a few things, but almost as soon as the test began it became clear to them that something serious was happening. The doctors at the local hospital did not tell me anything other than that I needed to be transferred to a more specialist hospital for a few more tests. I was taken by ambulance within an hour to Harefield hospital, not knowing anything about what Harefield was or what happened there. As I was wheeled on my bed by the paramedics we turned a corner in a corridor and came to the entrance to Rowan Ward where I read on the sign above the doors... “Transplant Unit”. 

On March 30th 2013 I received the greatest gift any person can receive. On Good Friday an amazing and brave family somewhere agreed that the heart of their relative be donated and so I went into surgery… In the face of their greatest adversity they showed the ultimate generosity.

On March 24th 2014 Molly was born… I see in her all the hope which has come out of this nightmare and whilst we wait for the results of the genetic tests to see if my children have the same potential for heart failure I am free to drive myself forward in life, love, business and fundraising. We are back on track with expanding the business and bringing our children up together to be strong, ambitious and always to look forward. Life throws the most impossible scenarios at you and if you’re lucky, the people who guide you through it transform you as a person… It would be easy to say I am worse off now than before my condition took hold, with certain limits on my lifestyle and a life of immunosuppression in front of me… But in a strange way I feel better off as a person and hope to get more out of each day I have in front of me than I would have before… It turns out I was never destined to tour the world as a rock star! I had far bigger plans waiting for me.

I owe my life to my donor, to Harefield and to my family.

Paul Dawney
Heart and Lung - 2000

Lung Transplant










Michelle "Mimi" Cook
Heart Transplant

I'm 22 years old and currently live in Devon.
I was born with cardiomyopathy, and after just over a year of being kept stable, I took a turn for the worst and was put onto the emergency transplant waiting list. After only being on the list for 6 week, I (well my parents) got my call and I received my life saving heart transplant.
Since then I have been a perfectly "normal" (some may not call me exactly normal, as I am slightly crazy!) child, teenager and now young adult!
Since the age of 7 I have been involved in Girl Guiding UK, having started off as a Brownie myself to now being a Leader for both Brownies and Guides. I have always loved the Guiding movement and think it is a fantastic opportunity for girls of all ages. It has certainly given me the skills and confidence to achieve higher and greater things that I would of perhaps first thought I was capable of.
I currently work for an outdoor adventure activity company called PGL. For this I work with children aged 7-18, and teach and instruct them in various outdoors activities, including abseiling, zipwire, climbing, orienteering, archery etc. Its a full on, fast, constantly on the move, enthusiastic in sun, rain, sleet, snow, wind kind of job and I LOVE it!!!

I want to be a part a part of the Cotopaxi 2015 team, as I want to challenge myself. The opportunity to climb a mountain...WOW! And not only that, its a chance to use my story to promote healthy, active transplant lifestyle. Most importantly though its a chance to raise awareness about Organ Donation, and say "Hey, it is worth it!...I'm living proof".

Although I may not remember any of my actual transplant, and I may complain copious amounts about blood tests, needles and Dr's appointments, I couldn't be more grateful for the gift I received. It's given me my life."


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