Meet the woman with a mountainous pledge to raise $100,000 for brain cancer. We caught up with Donna Jackson, wife of OZSALE CEO Carl Jackson, about the cause she’s willing to travel to Tanzania for.
Donna is one of sixteen people who have committed to raise $100,000 each for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. All she has to do is travel to Africa and climb the world’s highest summit above sea level next month… simple right?
Founded in 2011, by Professor Charlie Teo the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation aims to support the research for a cure, whilst providing world-class treatments to Brain Cancer sufferers. Teo himself will embark upon the Million$Mission which will see Donna, Blackmore’s CEO Christina Holgate, Winnings Appliances CEO John Winnings and eleven others climb Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro.
We asked Donna what the most challenging aspect of the 6-day trek was. “The altitude sickness…” she replied immediately. The momentous task of raising $100,000 comes in a mere second. “Even if you’ve done Kilimanjaro six or seven times before, it can still get you…I’ve spoken to at least twenty people who’ve done it, and at least half of them haven’t made the summit.”
“I’ve always wanted to do Kilimanjaro…I like a challenge and I like to have a goal…We’re sleeping in tents, there’s no showers for seven days, no hair dryers, no hair wash! It’s about all of those things combined. You’re away from home and you’ve got no home comforts- it’s a wonderful mental challenge.” On reaching the top? Donna expects “to be euphoric… exhausted. The last day- the summit- is the worse day. It’s a twelve-hour day and they get you up at 10:30 at night so you can make sunrise…it can be down to -30 degrees! As soon as you get up there, you touch the plaque and then you come straight back down. You don’t mess around up there- there’s no champagne!”
So what possesses a former flight attendant and loving mother to trek a summit 6000 metres above sea level? “Everyone there believes in Charlie’s cause,” Donna explains. “Charlie does some pretty out there stuff- he’ll operate on patients- especially children- when every other neurosurgeon says ‘don’t do it, there’s no chance of survival’…He truly believes in what he’s doing.“
OZSALE wishes Donna the best of luck on her journey. With 1600 Australians diagnosed with the disease every year, the threat of brain cancer is real. Alarmingly one person dies from the disease every seven hours in Australia- most of these children and adults under the age of 40. In fact brain cancer kills more children and more people under the age of 40 than any other disease in Australian and still the research for a cure receives no government funding.