Mark Maynard's Kilimanjaro Trek

Allow me to tell you about one of the most amazing men we have ever met - Mark Maynard.

Mark got in touch with us in 2012 to tell us that he would like to climb Kilimanjaro and that he had chosen to do it whilst raising funds for the Katy Holmes Trust! We were simply astounded that someone would choose to do such a lovely thing in Katy’s memory. Mark had researched Katy and her story and then came round to meet us and learn more. By the time he left that night Katy was truly in his heart.

Mark, in his efforts to fundraise, encountered all the pitfalls we had warned him about. You see, when you are a charity raising money for a cancer that is not well known about you come across people who just don’t want to help. He sent hundreds of letters out to companies asking for sponsorship and got minimal responses. He worked incredibly hard visiting people and telling our story and never got very far at all. He was totally exhausted by it all. We were worried he would give up and choose to go with a more well known charity instead for an easier life. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

Mark came to see us again to tell us what a hard time he was having and we held our breath waiting for the bad news. Instead mark said something quite different. He looked us straight in the eye and told us how very much he respected us and our work. He explained that he totally understood now how hard we had to work to get the funds that we have managed to raise so far. Mark admitted that it would have been easier to swap charities but that actually if anything he felt more determined now to stay with us and work even harder! At that moment we could have cried. Mark could see what we were up against and he truly believed in us.

From there Mark continued his fundraising efforts and his training. He completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge with family and friends and then went on to complete the national 3 Peaks Challenge too! A few weeks before he was due to fly out to Kilimanjaro Mark had an accident on his motorbike. He was badly bruised and very shaken but determined to carry on, here is a message he sent to us: “fortunately there are no bones broken and it looks like bruising and swelling to soft tissue around the muscles along my left knee where the bike fell on it. So a lot of enforced rest lots of ice and bit more work required from my sports therapist before I fly out to Kili next week”. We were stunned and deeply concerned. Mark came to see us and it was clear to see the pain he was in. He played it down though. Mark flew out to Kili in June 2013 and despite his constant pain he courageously completed his challenge.

When Mark returned he had to go back to the hospital for some more tests and some results. You won’t believe what they discovered! He did have a fracture and a broken bone after all! What a most incredible man.

Mark’s Just Giving page is below, it is not too late to sponsor him! This man has worked so very hard to make this a huge success and he did a cracking job. Mark, all of us here at the Katy Holmes Trust are so very proud of you and we cannot thank you enough for everything you have done in Katy’s memory. You will always have a place in our hearts xxxx