Malcolm Joy has recently returned from a Trek to Mount Toubkal, raising £3,920 for Epilepsy Research UK. Malcolm tells us about the trek and why he chose to support us here:
“On the 23rd June 2013 my life got turned upside down through the sudden death of my partner Niki who suffered from nocturnal epilepsy. It was through a fit in the night that resulted in her death. I wanted to do something as a tribute to her life, raise awareness of epilepsy amongst our friends and raise some money for the charity. As a result I signed up to do the Mount Toubkal trek whose details I found through the website. By signing up for the trek it helped me get through the next 12 months through hard training, fundraising, and, keeping Niki’s memory alive.
On the 5th June 2014 I headed off to Gatwick Airport with 14 other strangers to embark on a journey I will remember for the rest of my life. Each had a story to tell and we bonded so well and became such good friends. We had a night in Marrakech to get to know every one and learn more about the trip. The first days walk of 10 km was tough as the heat was unbearable at times but the scenery more than made up for that. The second day was the climb up the mountain which was the hardest thing I have ever done. The higher you got the thinner the air got and the harder it became to keep on going. We all supported and encouraged each other and I kept reminding myself why I was doing it. After 5 hours of climbing we eventually reached the summit and all the emotion of the last 12 months poured out. It was such a relief to get there, I’m sure Niki would have been looking down on me toasting my success with her obligatory glass of wine. After 40 minutes of admiring the views and congratulating each other we then completed the easy part of the journey, walking down the mountain. The next day we retraced our steps of the first day back to the village and our ride back to Marrakech for a celebratory meal.
The whole experience is one I will never forget and has given me itchy feet in terms of doing another one and I am already on the look out for next year. It is a shame that a tragedy made me want to do it in the first place but hopefully a lot of good will come out of it through the money I have raised as well as making people more aware of epilepsy.