In April this year, Laura Brown, 26, who has had Type 1 diabetes for 17 years, raised £5,000 for Diabetes UK by spending two weeks trekking 10km a day, at altitudes of up to 17,000 feet, from Lukla, Northern Nepal to Everest Base Camp.
Along with a team of other hikers, Laura trekked across spectacular and challenging landscapes with breathtaking panoramas. They passed along dusty tracks leading to monuments remembering those who had never returned from the mountains.
As they travelled higher up the mountain, the tree line disappeared and the glacial landscape became ever more dramatic; meanwhile, the air thinned, making the climb increasingly difficult.
During the journey, Laura experienced a couple of hypoglycaemic episodes which she was able to treat with jelly babies. On top of this Laura endured acute mountain sickness, forcing her to rest for a day to allow her body to acclimatise and adapt to the lack of oxygen in the air.
On the final day of her journey Laura and her team reached the mound of rocks and iconic prayer flags at 5,364 metres which mark Everest Base Camp.
"A feeling I will never forget"
"Life takes on a whole new meaning when you stand below these ethereal giants of nature," said Laura. "For me it was the moment for which I had prepared for so long and hard, to prove to myself that having diabetes never had to get in the way of my dreams and ambitions. I was in control this time, and I had made it. A feeling I will never forget."
Laura found the trip gave her a new confidence with her diabetes and a new perspective on life: to make the most of every opportunity. She now knows that she is capable of dealing and living with her diabetes in any situation.
"Diabetes doesn’t have to stop you"
"Having a condition like diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from embarking on that adventure you have always wanted to do," advised Laura. "Be prepared, think of all eventualities, know what to expect in the country you are visiting, and the world really does become your oyster."
Zoë Steer, Diabetes UK South West Regional Fundraising Manager, said, "I would like to thank and congratulate Laura for her amazing hard work and determination. Her achievements on this trek have been fantastic and her story is an inspiration to other people with diabetes who are thinking of embarking on similar adventures.
"People with diabetes can live fit and active lives as long as they manage and control their condition. Laura’s experience is an example that shows when you have a plan and are prepared you can achieve almost anything."