Weymouth woman Dee tackles Himalayan mountains for cancer charity

Dorset Echo: WE DID IT: Dee Bird with fellow climbers WE DID IT: Dee Bird with fellow climbers

A WEYMOUTH woman has climbed over 11,500ft up the Himalayas for charity.

Dee Bird, 63, from Rodwell sprung into action after being made redundant from her job as a teacher at The Verne prison, Portland, in December 2012.

She said: “I was teaching people to read and write and I loved the job, so when I was given a fortnight’s notice it was a bit of a shock.”

When asked about the inspiration for the challenge, she said: “I had always thought I was quite slim and then a particularly bad photo was taken of me.

“I was looking after my young grandson who was born around that time and I wondered how I was going to run around after him, so I decided to lose weight.

“I got a weight loss magazine and saw the advert for the ‘Britain v Cancer’ challenge and thought: ‘Why not?’ “I’m not going to sit around.

“I’m not finished yet.”

She signed up to Dream Challenge’s ‘Hike the Himalayas’ for Britain v Cancer, trekking over five days from Dharamsala in India to Laka Got, over 11,500feet up in the Himalayan Mountains.

Participants raised money for the cancer charity of their choice and Mrs Bird chose Macmillan Cancer Support as she had a lumpectomy in January 2012 and contacted them for support and advice.

Dee said: “When I started training in September 2013 I went mountain trekking in Yorkshire and failed miserably.

“My husband wanted me to pull out but I started walking more, from Osmington to Lulworth, and went to the gym two hours a day.”

Dee explained the trek was difficult but rewarding.

“We walked up to ten miles a day in 28 degree weather.

“I got heat exhaustion and one person got mild altitude sickness, but we all kept going.

“It was hard work but it was a marvellous experience, one of the best of my life. The scenery was beautiful and the countryside was teeming with wildlife.

“I also lost nearly two stone.”

Dee has raised nearly £1,720 for Macmillan Cancer Support, and she has thanked everyone who sponsored her.

To donate to the cause please contact Dee on 07775 538182.

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