Twenty-three north-west London women have raised over £320,000 for Chai Cancer Care from an eight-day Kilimanjaro climb.
Alexandra Maurice, whose 44-year-old sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, had the idea for the fundraiser, whose participants were aged from 37 to 53.
“When something like that happens, you just feel shock and so helpless. You feel like you want to go the extra mile. So we decided to find something different to do for Chai.”
A Friday night ceremony with challah on the mountain reflected the desire of the group “to be as observant as possible”, explained the South Hampstead Synagogue congregant. “We had a lot of new pots — and other pots koshered. It was a very spiritual experience. We were only allowed to carry 15 kilos each, so we had to do without our mod cons.”
The women kept a blog of their experience and the money raised will go towards Chai’s children’s services. “It’s fitting because we’re all mothers,” Mrs Maurice added. “We’re having a reunion next week and we all feel very close.”