We are very fortunate to have a dedicated bunch of supporters determined to make a difference.
Here is the story of Charlotte Piper, participant of last year’s Turia’s Inca Trail Challenge which raised over $225,000 for Interplast.
In her own words, she tells the story of the emotional and physical journey that she made.
When I was eight, I received third degree burns on my thighs. For forty years I kept my scars and secret hidden from many of my friends.
Following Turia Pitt gave me the courage to own my story. I joined her Inca Trail challenge in July and was happy to be able to thank her in person, whilst raising funds and awareness for Interplast.
I connect with Interplast both because I am a burns victim and I understand the importance of reconstructive surgery on burns survivors, and because I am also in the medical industry.
I initially chose to join the trek because….
When we arrived at the start of the trail, I was feeling a mixture of excitement, trepidation and nervousness. I had been training for five months.
The trek took us through many different landscapes; from rainforest to snow-capped mountains to barren dusty trails, and through extremes of temperature – from 25 degrees Celsius to minus 7 degrees.
We hiked to an altitude of 4,200m, which was a challenge even for the fittest team members. But through it all, we had each other’s backs and we became like family.
The moment that stands out most in my mind happened on the fourth morning.
The night before, we had hiked with only our headlamps to light the rocky path along a mountain ridge to the campsite, and we arrived well after dark.
We knew the location was going to be spectacular, but nothing could prepare us for what awaited when we opened the tent zipper the next morning. We found ourselves perched atop a mountain, far above the clouds.
There were feelings of immense joy, relief and satisfaction and even some tears were shed when we reached the Sungate at Machu Picchu later that day.
To know that as a team we had raised an incredible amount for Interplast was one of the highlights and unlike other trips, this one has changed me forever.
I learnt that I am capable of more than I often think. Having a clear vision, a plan and belief makes the impossible possible.
If I could give some advice to anyone joining Turia for her next challenge, it would be this: Take the time to get to know this strong woman and be prepared to be amazed at her super fitness level!
The hike will be tough at times but remember the reasons you signed up for it. Support your fellow hikers as you’re all in it together, and be proud of your achievement