An RSPCA inspector is set to trek to Everest Base Camp to raise funds for animals in need.
Marije Zwager, an inspector based in Exeter, will be taking part in the trek this September with a group of like-minded animal lovers to raise much-needed funds for the RSPCA.
Everyday Marije experiences first-hand the cruelty that is inflicted on innocent animals and the work the RSPCA does to prevent this. She says this is why she is pushing herself to the limit to raise funds to help even more animals.
“I really enjoy the buzz I get from physical exercise and being in nature so I am very excited about this amazing trek.” Marije said.
“Never knowing what tomorrow will bring, I wish to live my life without regrets and grab the chance to undertake this challenge while I am fit and well in body and mind.”
Dutch born Inspector Marije, together with her British partner Wes whom she met while backpacking around Australia and New Zealand aged 18, will join the team hoping to reach Everest Base Camp at 5,380 meters following two challenging weeks of hiking.
This won’t be her first challenging trek as in February 2013 Marije, who has worked as an RSPCA inspector for 15 years, reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with 12 fellow inspectors and was lucky enough not to suffer from the serious effects of altitude sickness along the way.
She said: “I cannot even begin to describe the renewed perspective on life this incredible achievement brought about in me, especially in the wake of losing my only sister to suicide mere months before.
“Pushing to the summit after midnight, under a vast canopy of stars in below zero temperatures, I felt a real connection with the universe around me and my place in it, and the early morning sun rising on the horizon to warm our cold and tired bodies was a sight I will never forget.”
There is bound to be sore feet, tired legs and aching heads during her next challenge but Marije explained that’s why they call it a challenge.
Starting in the Nepalese town of Lukla, Marije and the team will take on a trek which winds higher and higher in the Himalayas, through forests, gorges, rivers and icefalls. The high altitude of Everest Base Camp is likely to have a huge effect on the trekkers and coupled with sub-zero temperatures the challenge will be extremely tough.
She added: “As an inspector, most of our working days consist of driving to households to check on pets and, where appropriate, offering advice and assistance to the owners. We investigate complaints of animal cruelty and help sick and injured wildlife. People are often surprised when I turn up alone and find out how far I have had to drive and the size of the areas we have to cover with limited resources. If only I had been given a penny for everytime someone had told me they could not possibly do my job, I would have reached my £2,000 target by now!”
The RSPCA relies on kind donations from members of the public to continue its vital work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care and will help inspectors like Marije to continue to respond to calls about animals in need.
To support Marije’s challenge visit her fundraising page.
Altogether, it is hoped the RSPCA Expawdition will raise £25,000 to help animals.
For more information about getting involved, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/everest
Images can be downloaded here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/Gy9IPTPTpb
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