SUE Paterson, a vet from Rutland House Referrals in St Helens, will climb Mount Kilimanjaro, as part of a team of 12 climbers.
The climb aims to raise £2,000 for PetSavers, a charity run by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSVA), which funds vital research into finding cures for diseases that affect pets.
Founded in 1974, PetSavers is funded solely by charitable donations and has invested more than £2million in clinical research into areas such as kidney disease, feline leukemia and diabetes.
Sue has been a consultant dermatologist at Rutland House Referrals for 20 years and has lectured in nearly 40 countries, including China, the USA and Canada, as well as being the author of seven textbooks on her specialist subject.
Her husband, Richard Paterson, will be part of the team climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
She has previously run 20 marathons, including the London marathon 10 times, before being told she must give up running following surgery on both knees.
Sue said: “I have always been extremely active and I was not ready to give that up after my surgery. Climbing seemed to be the perfect option and Kilimanjaro has been on my bucket list for a very long time.
“I have mixed feelings about the climb. Physically, I am very well prepared. We have been training in the Alps and I do a lot of weight training at the gym, but it is extremely dangerous.”
The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro stands at over 19,000 feet above sea level and has claimed the lives of many who have attempted to reach it before.
Sue said: “I’m very excited but of course terrified, especially considering 10 people a year die on average trying to make it to the top, but we are training hard and will take no unnecessary risks.
“We have decided to take the slowest route, which will take about three weeks. This will give us the best possible chance to be able to acclimatize to the conditions and avoid any serious illness.”
To document the journey, Sue will carry with her a toy mascot, Colin the dog, who will pose for a photograph at each vital stage of the climb.
Sue was recently awarded a Fellowship by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for meritorious contribution to clinical practice.
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