Noel, Lynne and Peter have been forced to
cancel their charity expedition to Everest.
THE unstable political situation in Tibet has
forced a Dromara couple to delay their dream to become the first
married partners from Ireland to reach the summit of Mount
Noel, Lynne and Peter have been forced to cancel their
charity expedition to Everest.
Noel and Lynne Hanna were due to tackle the
world's largest peak as part of the Ulster Cancer Foundation
Everest expedition, which was due to start in just ten days
However China has closed all routes to
Everest amid unrest in Tibet, effectively cancelling the annual
summiting season of April and May.
Only Chinese climbers carrying the Olympic
Torch to the summit as a celebration of the Games in Beijing
will be allowed to use the route.
Noel, who is a fitness instructor, still
hopes the expedition can go ahead in 2009.
"We have done so much preparation for the
climb and were getting ready to leave home for nine weeks" he
said. "It is disappointing for everyone, especially Peter.
"We were supposed to leave in ten days time
so it is hard to get back to normal again."
Noel has completed up to 30 expeditions and
climbs, training five days a week spending six to eight hours at
the Mournes each weekend.
Noel and Lynne will now take part in the
'Personal Everest Project', along with cancer sufferer Peter
McAlinden, who was also to go to Everest, with the aim of
raising £150,000 to provide a major new support programme for
cancer patients and their families in Northern Ireland.
This includes providing a tailored fitness
programme for cancer patients, both during and after treatment,
to help reduce the debilitating effects of fatigue and enhance
quality of life. It will also fund a full-time complementary
therapy service to reconnect people with their self esteem and
self image, which are often damaged as a result of their
diagnosis and treatment for cancer.
Joyce Savage, Head of Appeals and Marketing,
"This is a huge disappointment for
Lynne, Noel and Peter, however we are grateful that our
team are safe and healthy.
"They are determined to continue with their training
regime in preparation for the summit attempt in 2009 and
they will have even more opportunities to fundraise for
UCF throughout the year."