Teacher Climbing Kilimanjaro for Cancer!!

Shirley Tharp Start Date: Aug 24, 2016 - End Date: Mar 1, 2017
  • Tanzania
  • Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
  • Central African Republic

My Travel Story

by: Shirley Tharp Start Date: Aug 24, 2016 - End Date: Mar 1, 2017
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” —Edmund Hillary

Grovetown, Georgia Teacher Plans to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for Cancer!!

I am a high school special education teacher in Grovetown, Georgia. I work primarily with students who have learning disabilities or autism spectrum disorders and I also co-teach 9th - 12th grade students in Algebra and Literature/Language Arts.

All of my students challenge me every day to be a better person. I will strive to complete this hike to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa, to help show my students that all things are possible with determination and grit.

Travel and climb costs will be approximately $6700. I will cover 50% of this from my own personal funds. I hope to cover the remaining half through GoFundMe donations. If donations surpass my travel funds goal, I will give 100% of all additional proceeds to my school's Relay for Life team.

What is Relay for Life? I'm glad you asked! In more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries, Relay For Life events comprise the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Each Relay For Life event is special to its community, but the movement's true power lies in the combined commitment of thousands of participants, volunteers, and supporters to help the American Cancer Society save lives from cancer. I want to help my school's Relay for Life team by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and raising funds for our team to donate to the American Cancer Society.

On a personal note, I began adventurous hiking when I was in my early 50's. I am amazed by God's creation and the majestic beauty that I see on every single mountain that I climb. My first big hike was in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. It was ten miles in length round trip, and I carried a school backpack for water and snacks. I thought I was going to die! Yet through the physical pain of that first hike, I saw the natural wonder of the sky, the landscape, the flora and fauna. I fell in love with climbing mountains and was hooked!

I have since hiked many, many miles in the Smokies and surrounding areas and have also hiked to the high point of eight states, most recently summiting Mt. Whitney in California, the highest point of the continental U.S. at 14,508 feet.

I have learned so much from my students about determination and how to overcome any challenge. My school is very involved in community service and raising money for others in need. It would be my honor to step up to this ultimate challenge and trek to the rooftop of Africa, help raise awareness for cancer and cancer survivors, and donate proceeds to a great organization. My hike is scheduled for June 2017.

Thank you for your support. Please like, share, and donate if you can. Every little bit counts! I cannot do this without your support!

--Shirley Tharp
  • Tanzania
  • Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
  • Central African Republic