Climbing for a cause
CLIMBING a mountain can be hard work, even for a good cause.
But two staffers from Tewantin Noosa RSL are not fazed by the prospect – even if their chosen target is the highest mountain in Africa.
Murph Manthey and Rachel Jarvis are gearing up to climb north-east Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, a 5895-metre journey into the heavens, in September, to raise funds for soldiers returning from theatres of military action around the world who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Many of them suffer long-term ailments including depression and addictions, some even consider or enact suicide.
Murph’s own son, Stuart McClelland, has suffered from PTSD for four years since returning from Afghanistan, and the pair are determined to bring greater attention to what they know is a major issue for returned servicemen and women.
“My son could not wait to go overseas and serve his country, however on his return he was a changed person, a shadow of the man he was prior to leaving,” Murph said.
“He pushed everyone away from him and was eventually medically discharged from the army.
“He has been in and out of hospital for that past four years and is not showing signs of getting better.
“It is a constant worry for our family as he is a much loved son and father.
“We want to raise awareness of PTSD that our returned servicemen and women are suffering from and highlight the rise in veterans’ suicides.
“We want to get conversations happening; we don’t want these men and women to suffer in silence anymore.”
Murph and Rachel completed the Kokoda Walk in 2014 with the walking wounded.
“This was arranged through Mates4Mates, a fantastic organisation that supports current and ex Australian Defence Force members who are wounded, injured or ill as a result of their service," Murph said.
“I have a very good understanding of what (these serving) are going through.”
The pair is seeking donations to the cause and have set up a Westpac community bank account to accept them.
The BSB number is 034219 and account 360700 if you would like to donate.
“We have already paid a large deposit to secure our positions on the trek,” Murph said.
“Any money left over and above what we need to get us there will be donated to Legacy.
“I am sure we can achieve this with your kind help.”