Victoria Bryceson is 32 and based in Cumbria. She’s an inspiring individual who survived a dangerous climb on Mount Kilimanjaro and went on to set up animal welfare and education charity, Miracle's Mission and Vegan Events UK...
I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro a couple of years ago to raise charity funds and as I love mountain climbing it started off as the most incredible experience. However I began to suffer from extreme altitude sickness on just day 2 of the climb which was far too early to be able to realistically make it to the top. I am very very determined though and really pushed myself to keep going. I ended up being sick 22 times on the way up over the next few days and I had to be given a personal guide to monitor me at all times as they take sickness really seriously.
I struggled to keep any food down and hardly ate or drank anything. I was climbing so slowly because I was physically exhausted from not being able to eat and drink and at the end of each day I was just having to be in my tent as I had no energy at all. But not getting to the top wasn't ever an option. I got into my tent the night before the summit day and lay down absolutely completely exhausted, I didn't have any physical strength left. The guides were very reluctant to let me keep going but I convinced them to let me.
This might sound crazy but I was doing the climb for one dog in particular Prince, who was the first stray dog I ever rescued in Borneo and the real founder of my charity, Miracle’s Mission but he very sadly passed away that night I somehow saw him next to me. I felt he was letting me know that I had gone far enough and it was OK to not carry on to the top. I woke up in the morning and was more determined than ever despite then knowing it was OK if I didn't make it. Somehow I had a renewed strength and I could keep going. I know 100% that if my heart hadn't been so much into the climb and reaching the top that I would never have made it. I can say 100% that it was definitely not physical strength that got me to the top, it was sheer determination and love for the cause.
My charity, Miracle's Mission is a non-profit animal welfare organisation that works with sick, injured and difficult animals. My mission is to provide a place of safety for animals in danger, to educate on the need for neutering both pets and strays and to neuter stray dogs and cats to prevent the birth of more dogs and cats onto the streets.
Miracle was a dog who was rescued from the streets of Borneo at 1 week old before her tiny eyes were even open. She had several injuries and was very weak but she made a miraculous recovery and is now strong, happy and healthy living with her adopted brother Ben, sister Star and sister Tess. I’m now working towards saving many more stray dogs and other stray animals all around the world, starting in Borneo where Miracle was rescued.
Victoria is also founder of Vegan Events UK, and organises over 20 of the largest vegan festivals and events across the UK, which are partnered with Miracle’s Mission. For more information please visit www.miraclesmission.org and www.veganeventsuk.co.uk
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