65-Year-Old Wichita Woman Climbing Kilimanjaro For Charity

By: Stephanie Diffin Email
By: Stephanie Diffin Email

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One hundred and forty-five steps up and 145 steps back down. Imagine doing that 50 times, along with four miles on the track. It's just training for what 65-year-old Diane Palmer is about to do.

"There have been times where I was out at those stair steps and I'd say 'What am I doing here?' And then I'd [say] 'Oh yeah, I know what I'm doing here, I'm doing it for the children of Africa," said Palmer.

In just over a week, Palmer will no longer be climbing Wichita's Cessna Stadium, but rather the highest mountain in Africa. She has her eyes set on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and it's all to benefit five missions to help the impoverished nation.

"If you have a goal at the end, you train properly, and you have a purpose, you probably can do it," said Palmer.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is on Palmer's "vision board." The board is a collage of things she wants to accomplish in life. When she turned 65, she says she knew it was time to climb Kilimanjaro, crediting her determination to her family, as the youngest of nine.

"Not that any of my family members want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro but they're pretty determined people," said Palmer.

Her determination also comes from who she'll benefit. One of those missions is the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, which is an organization helping impoverished children, specifically with education and school buildings.

"I know that they want to put in some toilets, you know things that we would just take for granted would be in a school building," said Sister JoAnn Mark with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.

That's what Palmer says she'll keep in mind as she makes her way to the top. It's not something she says she ever imagined she would be doing at the age of 65.

"I knew I'd be doing something, but climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro? Probably not," said Palmer.

The climb is set to take six days to the top, and one day back down, with the summit at an elevation of about 19,340 feet. The temperature near the top is generally anywhere from zero to 15 degrees. Palmer will only get to spend 15 minutes to one hour at the top because of the extreme elevation.

Follow Palmer's blog and find out how you can donate by clicking here.

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