So, me (Hannah from the gait lab) and my friend Steven have decided to take on the challenge of climbing to Everest Base Camp on November 14th. Of course, the charity of our choice is the AKU Society.

The trek will take 15 days in total and will take us to the highest point at 5,545m. It will consist of 11 days strenuous trekking 4-6 hours per day.Training has already begun as we only have 7 weeks to go! Training will consist of cardiovascular fitness, hill climbs and strength training. The hardest thing to train for is the altitude. Luckily, due to our position in the Sport Science faculty here at Liverpool John Moores University, we have access to the Environmental chamber where we will have the chance to expose ourselves to altitudes of 1000m, 2000m and 4000m, which will test how our bodies respond with the expert guidance of Dr Ben Edwards.This is an exciting opportunity to push myself to the limits but most importantly to raise money for the ongoing research and patient welfare at the AKU society and the National Alkaptonuria Centre. I have been the gait movement analyst at LJMU for the NAC since 2015.  Every year each AKU patient comes to the gait lab, and without complaint, and often through pain, they take several steps up and down the lab for their gait analysis. My analysis and research could not be achieved without the perfect co-operation and patience that the AKU patients continually show.So in return for all those steps taken by the AKU patients for me over the past 2 years, I will try to return the favour… step for step!

Donate to Hannah Shepherd here.

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This week Hannah has been in an altitude chamber! To simulate the conditions that she will face on Everest, she has been cycling in a specially designed room whose oxygen levels have been reduced by 30-35%.On hand is Dr. Ben Edwards, an expert in extreme environmental physiology, who is measuring how much oxygen gets to Hannah and Steven’s blood and muscles.

It looks like Hannah and Steven are performing well. We wish them the best of luck for the climb on Tuesday.