Dainfern resident tackles Africa’s highest mountain to change a life

FUN: Michelle Morrow (fifth from left) has a lighthearted moment during a training session with her team.


It’s been said that all it takes is one word to inspire change.

For Dainfern resident, Michelle Morrow, this came from an inspirational speech by Tony Christiansen 11 years ago who, despite losing both his legs at the age of nine, went on to climb Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

“… His speech was about aiming high and reaching your goals, he inspired me to aim high and chase my dreams. So for me this is a dream come true to climb Kilimanjaro,” said Morrow.

Apart from making her dream come true, Morrow will also be making a difference in the life of a little boy from Tembisa who has autism. Through the climb, she hopes to raise R100 000 to help with the child’s tuition at Star Academy, a school for children with autism.

Although naturally very active, climbing the mountain will be one of the most physically challenging activities she has ever embarked on. Morrow will be climbing the mountain with the SHE Trekkers which comprises seven (local and expat) women. The women will be guided to the top by a team from Summit Trails.

Morrow said, “We have formed strong bonds within our group and will support each other to our goal of reaching the top, whatever it takes, we will do it together.”

To prepare for the climb, Morrow has been training three times a week. Her training includes running, tennis, pilates, mountain biking and weekly hikes with the SHE Trekkers. “My inspiration and strength will come from knowing I am helping one mother to give her child the one-on-one education she needs to communicate – giving that child a voice,” she said.

Morrow added that although she was excited to go on the journey she was also nervous. “They say no matter how fit you are, what body shape, weight, height etc you can be affected by altitude sickness, so that is on my mind in terms of a successful summit.

“I’ve done the training, I feel I am ready and my goal is to reach the top fit and well, knowing that I have the support of so many friends, family and South Africans who will essentially be climbing the mountain with me… this is not a race to the top, but a journey to go slow, enjoy and carry with me forever.”

Details: To pledge your support go to www.backabuddy.co.za

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