Climbing Sólheimajökull on crutches !
On February 26th Sólheimajökull glacier was conquered by Nikki Bradley an inspirational speaker who engages her audience by sharing her own life experiences. When Nikki was 16 she was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma.
At the age of 26 she had already had two hip replacements. Since then she’s been on an incredible journey, not letting the disease stand in her way, to show what can be done on two crutches and with the power of mind.
The Sólheimajökull climbing’s main purpose was to raise awareness for Ewing's Sarcoma while highlighting the importance of exercise for rehabilitation and to raise funds for the Childhood Cancer Foundation. Below is Nikki’s own description of the journey as posted on Facebook.
" **WE DID IT!!!**We successfully scaled a route of the Solheimajokull glacier on Saturday and as I sit at my desk this afternoon it is all starting to sink in. I left for Iceland with one goal in mind. To push myself further than I have ever pushed myself before. With huge thanks to my amazing team, I reached that goal.
Our trip involved scaling the glacier, travelling the length of Iceland, climbing a set of ice steps up to a waterfall with nothing to hold on to at the top(TERRIFYING on crutches), abseiling off a sheet of ice, abseiling into a 45 foot ice cave, rescuing five young people from New Zealand who got stuck in the ice/snow and to top it off yesterday we trekked up and down a mountain which was 3.5k each way. To say I am sore today is an understatement but to be fair I think the whole team will be feeling it today! To Denis and Les from #donegaliceroadtrekkers, thank you for using your experience to get us to and from Iceland in one piece. To Paul from #pauldohertyphotography, thank you for the epic footage and photos and to Ian Parke, thank you for being there to help me when I needed you. (I might not have said, but having you near by in that cave made me feel less terrified!)
Doing something like this involves a lot of pre planning on my part. I had to ensure my crutches were ready to go, my footwear was important as I have bad circulation in my right leg and coldness causes a loss of sensation. I worried I wouldn't be able to move my leg the right way when I needed to and I felt scared a LOT while I was there. But.... I would do it again in a heartbeat because the feeling of pride I have today and the memories I gathered over the past four days will remain with me for life. I am so grateful to you all for the support and want to thank you so much for helping make the trip happen.
Our sponsors Gibson & Associates have been a huge help to us in many ways. They followed our trip over the weekend and posted regularly on social media which was great! Thank you Daireann and Lisa. To the Childhood Cancer Foundation, we hope we raised a little money and more awareness for you and thank you for your continued support over the past year. And finally, to the people out there reading this who are facing a tough road.
Whether you are currently in hospital worried about the future, or perhaps you are someone suffering quietly trying to tackle personal issues, or maybe you have a goal that you really want to achieve but are terrified to pursue it, I hope this will help you in some way. I don't know what lies ahead with my own health but I know that whatever happens I am more than prepared after this weekend to take on whatever is coming my way!