We are excited to announce that this September one of our counsellors, Mark Patton, will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Mark decided that through this adventure he could help and that he would make the climb in support of Family Services Ottawa and our clients.
“For me climbing Kilimanjaro is a metaphor for life and the experiences of people who access services at Family Services Ottawa (FSO). Climbing this huge mountain is not that different from the process that people go through in overcoming domestic violence, returning to work, improving relationships, and confronting mental health problems or addictions. The main difference is that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is easier than the challenges that most of the clients at FSO face. This climb will be physically demanding; starting with a strong base of good health and fitness is essential for all people who are attempting to overcome challenges. The climb will be mentally and emotionally challenging; I have a fear of heights and I will need to confront fears about altitude sickness and whether I can reach the top. I need to have a good plan and prepare well. I have chosen a route that is longer. This will allow me to acclimatize more slowly and increase my chances of success. It will also be more scenic. When confronting life’s challenges the shortest route is often not the best and it is important that we pace ourselves if we want to achieve our goals. Finally, I could not do this alone. I have recruited people to help me along the way. I am climbing with a team including experienced guides who have been many times where I want to go. I also have many supports who I have recruited to get me to the mountain. While I want to raise money for the important work that Family Services Ottawa does, I also want to start a discussion about what it means to confront huge personal and social challenges and generate empathy for people who are confronting their own internal Kilimanjaros.”
By making a contribution to Mark’s campaign you can help a member of your community conquer their Kilimanjaro. Donations can be made on site or by mail at 312 Parkdale Avenue, Ottawa, K1Y 4X5 or online through Paypal by using your Paypal account or Credit Card. Donations of $20 or more are eligible for a tax receipt.