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Thursday, April 05, 2018

Uxbridge residents prepare for adventure of a lifetime

Local health professionals join Everest expedition

News 10:42 AM by Moya Dillon Uxbridge Times Journal

UXBRIDGE — Two Uxbridge residents will be trekking Mount Everest to support Markham Stouffville Hospital.

This once-in-a-lifetime adventure will celebrate the 65th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hilary’s ascent of the world-famous mountain while raising funds to build a new hybrid operating room equipped for fluoroscopy at Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH).

“They keep calling it ‘an adventure of a lifetime,’ which sounds cliché, but there’s really no other way to describe it,” said Uxbridge resident Trish Lawless, head of child development programs at MSH, who will be joining the trek with fellow Uxbridge resident Tiffany Haidon, lead midwife at MSH.

“It’s not something that was on my bucket list,” Lawless continues, noting she was hooked when she found out participants would also be volunteering in local communities.

“After hearing everything that was rolled into this trip, I just couldn’t say no. I’ve worked at MSH for 20 years now so the opportunity to give back was important to me, but the icing on the cake was that we were going to volunteer at a school as well.”

Lawless and two of her colleagues will be volunteering at a school in the Nepalese community of Paphlu, while Haidon and the rest of the medical professionals will volunteer at a nearby clinic.

“We’ll be leaving a week early so we can spend four days at a medical clinic providing our services before we start our trek,” Haidon said.

“We’ll be providing them with teaching, medical supplies and things like that, which can be invaluable in that setting. It’s our way of giving back to the community. We’ll be trekking and utilizing their resources so this is a way to give back to them.”

For Haidon the trip started as a way to give back to MSH, which has been a leader in integrating midwifery care, including being the first hospital to host a midwife-caught birth after midwifery was legislated in 1994.

“Ever since then, MSH has been totally leading the way in hospital integration of midwives. It’s a fantastic interprofessional team and we have full scope of practice there, so this is my way to give back and say thank you,” Haidon explains.

A group of about 30 will be joining the MSH trek, which will take them from Kathmandu, Nepal, through the Himalayas up to Base Camp on Mount Everest over the course of 15 days from April 22 to May 6.

The trek will be a learning experience for both Lawless and Haidon, who have no climbing experience but are both active.

“I will admit I had to think twice about it but the cause meant so much to me that I really am going outside my comfort zone,” Haidon said, noting her choice of outdoor activity usually involves “30-plus degree weather and scuba diving.”

“This is really the opposite. But I do love adventure and I like meeting challenges, so that’s what this will be for me.”

For more information or to donate visit www.mshtrekeverest.ca.

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