Druck Team Member to Summit Everest Base Camp for Breast Cancer Awareness
Helene Doggett, Druck’s Occupational Health Advisor loves a challenge, especially for a good cause, we caught up with her to hear about her plans to climb to Mount Everest base camp to raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Name: Helene Doggett
Job Title: Occupational Health Advisor. My role is to help keep people well at work both physically and mentally through professional and impartial advice to employees, managers and HR. I’m responsible for managing the medical services and wellbeing for the Groby site. This includes health advice with return to work and stay at work programs, required health surveillance management and well-being. Additionally I oversee the emergency medical teams: first aid and mental health first aid.
When did you start at Druck? In June 2010
Why are you climbing to Base Camp? I love a challenge, love walking and the outdoors and it has always been a trip I’ve really aspired to take.
When does the journey begin? I leave for Kathmandu on the 23rd September and then fly up to Lukla on the 26th September to start the 12 day trek.
How high is Base Camp? Base camp is at an attitude of 5326m/ 17,575ft. The aim is to reach Base camp on Day 8. It is likely to be the toughest day of the trip with an early start, 8-hour day of climbing, cold temperatures and considerable lack of oxygen making it our most difficult day of climbing. The next morning at 4am I’ll also get the opportunity (if I have enough energy and the altitude isn’t affecting me too badly) to climb to the summit of Kala Patter 5545m to see a sunrise view of Mt Everest before starting our decent back.
What does your training regime look like? I started training back in January with long walks and general fitness but I ramped up my training at the end of May to be really structured. Each week I’ve aimed to complete 2 x long walks (12-20km), 2 x cardio sessions – run, bike, incline treadmill or stepper (45-90 mins), 2 x weights session- squats, lunges, sit ups etc (45 mins). And I try to do a yoga session weekly too.
Have you ever done something similar before? Nothing as challenging as this but I have completed the ‘National 3 peaks’ (3 tallest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in under 24 hrs). I’ve managed this twice with the Druck team and their support. In May I also completed the ‘Yorkshire 3 peaks’ (1585m of ascent and 39.4 km in under 12hrs) which we proudly completed in 9hr 50min.
Is this the toughest challenge you’ve ever taken on? Most definitely the toughest! My main worries are how I’ll cope with the altitude and being cold (I really hate being cold). And not sure how I’ll cope with lack of bathing facilities as we get higher!
Will you be accompanied on your journey? When I decided I was doing this trek it was Dec 2019 and wasn’t sure if I could talk anyone into coming with me so I decided to take the trip with an organized trekking company- Evertrek. When chatting one day about my plans, my really good friend Patrick said he really wanted to come too so we’ll be travelling together. We’ll have 1 Sherpa between the two of us (can you believe they will carry both our 10kg bags all the way and look after us!). We also have two guides and ten other fellow trekkers who we’ll meet when we get to Kathmandu.
Why are you raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness? Nine years ago I lost my Mum to breast cancer. She was one of the most positive, strong, determined and kind individuals you could have met. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, sadly losing her battle in 2013 after going through many treatments. My Mum ate well, exercised (a lot), was a non-smoker, moderate drinker and lived a healthy life. She too loved the mountains. She also checked and reported symptoms early so she was a perfect example of what we should all do. Sadly, she was just unlucky. The PREVENT BREAST CANCER charity recently supported us here on site with a great event which was attended by many of our work colleagues. Predict. Prevent. Protect. They call it their mantra. As the only UK charity entirely dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer, they’re committed to freeing the world from the disease altogether. Unlike many cancer charities, they’re focused on preventing, rather than curing. Promoting early diagnosis, screening and lifestyle changes, they believe they can stop the problem before it starts. And being situated at the only breast cancer prevention centre in the UK, they’re right at the front-line in the fight against the disease.
How can others donate? My trip to Nepal and personal challenge to reach Everest Base Camp is completely self-funded so any donations received will go directly to Prevent Breast Cancer. I have a ‘just giving’ page set up so please if you would like to support such a great worthwhile cause (and me) head here to donate.
Helene leaves for Kathmandu on Friday! Good luck Helene!!