In February 2018, Rona climbed the Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for us. We’ve checked in with Rona to find out about her experience one year on. Here's what she had to say:

"In 2007 I broke my neck playing polo. It was a complicated fracture and I was incredibly lucky to survive and not be permanently paralysed. I was airlifted from the scene by the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Their speed of response and on-board expertise played a huge part in my recovery. Since my accident, I’ve raised money to support their amazing service, so I jumped at the chance to raise more when they asked me to join them climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in February 2018.

I can’t recommend taking on a challenge to support the charity highly enough. It’s the perfect opportunity to push yourself, tackling something you’ve always wanted to try but never dared. It allows you to take on a fully supported challenge knowing you’re also doing something amazing by raising funds for a brilliant cause.

Throughout the run up to my Kilimanjaro climb I received lots of support from the fundraising team on fitness training and fundraising, including several get-togethers that enabled us to develop the camaraderie that helped get us through. During the climb our welfare was taken good care of by incredible local guides and porters with medical support from the TVAA team.

For me, climbing Kili was very personal, having recovered from a serious accident and been through months of rehabilitation. I never thought I’d be able to do something like this, and I probably would never have considered it had Thames Valley not been organising the challenge.

The incredible sense of achievement at the top was something I’ll never forget, but it was made more special by knowing the money I raised was enabling the Thames Valley Air Ambulance to save other people, I’m so thankful for their help, they saved me."

Do you want to tick an overseas challenge of your bucket list in 2019? Join our Dalai Lama trek, an 11 day trip of a lifetime exploring the stunning scenery of the Indian Himalayas and visiting the incomparable Taj Mahal. Find out more.