The well-known alpinist Jerry Gore is taking on three of the hardest routes in the Alps this month, alongside Mike Turner and Gaz Parry, to raise money for 10 insulin-dependent children in Nepal who can¹t afford treatment.
Gore, currently based in the Alps where he runs the accommodation agency AlpBase.com, was diagnosed as suffering from Type 1, also called insulin-dependent, diabetes in 2001. Compared to Type 2 diabetes, where the hormone insulin is still produced in the pancreas, Type 1 requires the sufferer to take insulin for the rest of their lives.
“It¹s taken me most of the intervening 10 years to master this complicated condition,” he says. “This involves up to eight insulin injections and six blood-sugar tests daily, weighing all my carbohydrates, and severe nighttime hypos that have reduced my family to tears on many occasions.”
Not only that, Gore relies on technology and equipment that cost €6,000. Imagine, he says, what it’s like in a developing country where daily survival can be a struggle, let alone coping with such a complex condition as Type 1 diabetes.
So Gore has set up a project in Nepal through the Australian charity Insulin for Life to raise money for 10 Nepali diabetic children registered at Patan Hospital in south Kathmandu. Gore says these children can’t afford insulin and without it will die this year.
“In Nepal insulin isn’t subsidised and so is unaffordable. Many adults and children die as a result. However, in most first-world countries there is a lot of excess stock which IFL relies on, receiving donated insulin that would otherwise be destroyed.” IFL is largely run by volunteers and transportation costs are paid for by donations.
“So together with two of Britain’s best climbers, Twid Turner and Gaz Parry, I’m going to attempt three of the Alps’ toughest routes this August and I want climbers to support my by donating to the Nepal project. If I can get a thousand climbers to contribute £10 each, or better still £5 per climb, the money raised will buy enough insulin to give back to these young Nepalese their lives and hope.”
The three routes Jerry has chosen are Divine Providence on Mont Blanc’s Grand Pilier d’Angle, which since it was first climbed in 1984 has been widely regarded as among the toughest rock routes at high altitude in the world, with pitches up to 7b+.
The second route is The Fish on the South Face of the Marmolada, first climbed in 1981 by the Slovak climber Igor Koller and his Czech partner Jindro Sustr, using several points of aid. That was whittled away to leave a free climb of 7b+ on one of the most dramatic faces in the Alps.
Gore then plans to finish the trio with La Vida Es Silbar on the Eiger, a sustained 900m 7c through the Eiger’s wildest and steepest ground. He believes that no British climber has done all three of these landmark Alpine climbs. He couldn’t even contemplate the attempt, he says, without the medical help he’s received.
“Insulin has given me the chance to live a full and meaningful life,” he says. “I want to give the same opportunity to these children.”
Donations can be made via Jerry Gore’s Facebook page by credit card using PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account. Or donate direct via Insulin for Life. In the box marked Insulin for Life: Nepal Project, select the amount you want to donate from £5 upwards, then press ‘Give’.