Penarth woman fundraising in memory of fiancée Paul Woodland climbs Mount Kilimanjaro
3:02pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in Penarth news
A PENARTH woman fundraising in memory of her fiancé that died whilst on exercise with the Royal Marines has climbed Kilimanjaro.
Sian Woodland, 29, recently climbed Kilimanjaro in aid of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund and the Royal Marines Association.
Sian, who completed the arduous trek with 12 other friends as part of team ‘No Direction’, is now planning on climbing the highest free standing mountain in the world again in 2015 in memory of her fiancé Paul Woodland.
Paul, who was known as ‘Woody’ to friends, died in October last year during a training exercise with the Royal Marines.
Sian Earls, who changed her last name to Woodland in memory of Paul, has vowed to raise £13,000 in 2013 in his memory and has already raised more than £9,000.
She got in contact with Emylie Jennings after hearing that she was planning on the trek up Kilimanjaro in memory of her husband Captain Tom Jennings, who was killed in Afghanistan in December 2011, leaving her with two young boys, then aged one and three-years-old.
Sian, who is planning on setting up a charity in Paul’s memory that will support Royal Marines beyond the two years that the military typically care for them after a life changing accident, said that during the Kilimanjaro trek she struggled with altitude sickness but that it was “amazing” to reach the top
“It wasn’t like my legs were tiring, it was the altitude sickness that took it out of me,” she said.
“It’s nothing you can prepare for, it’s something you either get or you don’t.
“I was waking up every day feeling like I had the worst hangover ever, feeling like I had no energy.”
She added: “When I got to the top it was very emotional and I just cried my eyes out.
“I couldn’t believe I got to the top as I felt so ill.
“I thought I would never do it again as it was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, but once I got down I wanted to do it again.
“I’m going to do it again in 2015 when I set up my own charity.”
She added that the next trip would be entirely self funded and all money raised would go directly to charity.
It took the team, which also included Sam Sykes, Chris Rees, Carl Gibbs, Gary Hardy, Joe Wilkinson, John Coffey, Kelly Ramdharry, Helen Pike, Olly Jennings and Hywel Jones, seven days to climb Kilimanjaro, instead of the planned eight, and about three hours to come back down.
“It took us seven days as we had to acclimatise to the altitude,” she said.
In a bid to mark the anniversary of Paul’s death Sian has organised a 10km commando challenge with 23 of his friends on October 5 in Lympstone, Exmouth. The obstacle course will replicate the challenges that marines face to achieve their green beret.
Money raised will go towards the Royal Marine Charitable Trust Fund and the Devon Air Ambulance.
“It’s something that I have always wanted to do, even when Paul was still with us,” added Sian.
If you would like to enter the commando challenge contact Sian on email@example.com
To sponsor Sian in her bid to raise £13,000 for the Royal Marines Association go to: www.justgiving.com/Woody32
To sponsor the ‘No Direction’ team go to: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/nodirection or text 'TOMJ82' plus an amount between £1 and £10 to 70070.