Courage and determination, our sheer will and ability to overcome adversity, are the two most necessary components for achievement. The secret of success is a strong, positive attitude. Our confidence and zeal opens doorways to the multitude of possibilities for individual accomplishment and building a vigorous world community.
When the magic transpires, you blossom into your full potential. Goodness radiates and projects its light and inspiration unto others. You are invincible and you can climb the highest mountain and touch the sky.
In January 2013, Samantha Dunn, 27, was affected by Bell's Palsy, a facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to the facial nerves, and left her studies in Ecology and Environmental Biology at the University of Leeds.
“My face was paralyzed, so I didn’t leave the house,” says Samantha, a.k.a Sammy, who grew-up in a small family of animal lovers in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
“It completely changed me. I thought about what I wanted to do with my life and it re-invigorated my passions for animals.”
While convalescing at home, Sammy read a lot of books including Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, Touching the Void by Joe Simpson, and The Dark Summit by Nick Heil.
“These true stories of people battling the altitude and elements to reach the summit of a mountain really inspired me,” Sammy recalls. “I booked my first climbing lesson at The Edge climbing wall in Sheffield as soon as I was better and I haven’t looked back since.”
This summer Sammy and her climbing mentor, Rob Douglas, who has over ten years of climbing experience, are attending the Chamonix Mountain Festival. After the festival, Sammy will climb the Three Monts Route to reach the summit of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France, elevation 15,781 feet, the highest mountain in Europe.
Her climbing goal, aptly named Sammy Climbs for the Animals 2014, is to raise £1000. “Every penny I raise will be split between two charities, which do not receive any government funding,” Sammy states.
Half of the donations will go to the Doncaster RSPCA, a local animal rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing organization that is close to Sammy’s heart. “The staff are extremely dedicated,” Sammy says of Doncaster RSPCA. “They are genuinely passionate animal lovers.”
The other half of all funds will be donated to the Anti-Vivisection Coalition (AVC), headed by renown animal rights activist, Luke Steele, which fights for the abolition of animal experimentation and educates the public about laboratory animal experiments in the United Kingdom.
“The Anti-Vivisection Coalition is extremely relevant to me,” Samantha explains. “My university still funds animal experiments. I hope that one day Luke Steele and the Anti-Vivisection Coalition can help change that.”
“Animal experimentation still happens in our country on a massive scale. Animals are put through extreme pain for some of the everyday things we buy.”
In addition to changing our shopping habits and buying cruelty-free products, Sammy encourages signing petitions and taking part in direct action demonstrations with the Anti-Vivisection Coalition.
Meanwhile, Sammy continues to train for the Mont Blanc climb with hikes in the lakes, dales, wales, climbing Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, and weekly practice at the Sheffield or Leeds indoor climbing walls.
Without a guide on Mont Blanc, learning crevasse rescue techniques and how to use an ice axe and crampons are essential; these skills will be fine-tuned on a glacier in France before the Mont Blanc climb.
“I hope I make a difference and save some animals,” Samantha says. “Even if it is just one animal, it is worth it. The love of animals has helped me through depression and I owe them my life.”
Samantha is handcrafting Sock Monkeys to give to people who donate over £50 towards her Mont Blanc climb. Click here to help raise £1000 and donate to Sammy Climbs for the Animals 2014 through Pay Pal: firstname.lastname@example.org