Medics' base camp trek raises thousands for bowel cancer research

The team at Everest base camp

Published on 27 November 2019

A team of NHS medics completed a trek to Everest base camp – after training on the White Cliffs of Dover.

The group, led by consultant Pradeep Basnyat from the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, raised almost £4,000 for Bowel Cancer Research UK during their nine-day expedition, which saw the initial group of 10 dwindle to nine, then seven, as people succumbed to illness and altitude sickness.

They reached an altitude of around 17,600 feet, and toasted their achievement with a can of soft drink.

Mr Basnyat said: “We jokingly referred to ourselves as the magnificent seven, and it was certainly one of the hardest things I have done.

“It was a real test of physical and mental endurance, and the mountain sickness made it harder, but the scenery was absolutely amazing.

“We slept in our clothes and woke up and started walking again, so when we reached base camp we celebrated with Sprite and Coke because we were too tired for anything else!”

The team included Dr Vanessa Purday, Dr Deb Pandit, Dr Kala Basnyat and Dr Vinit Shah as well as friends from across the globe.

As well as using the White Cliffs, Mr Basnyat visited the Brecon Beacons and used the stair machine in the gym as part of his preparation.

He said: “I took every opportunity I could to walk, including round the wards. I felt as prepared as I could be but if I did it again I would try and take it more slowly and finish in 11 days rather than nine.

“I think it’s something anyone can do with the right preparation and it’s a real opportunity for self-reflection as well.

“I enjoyed the walking and being close to nature and I’ll definitely try to do more of that, with weekend trips to Ben Nevis or Snowdon now we are back.”

The team chose to raise money for bowel cancer research so it could benefit the most people. To donate to their fundraising, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pradeep-basnyat1