Paul Mansell, who lives in Southbourne, has returned from a successful expedition to the North Pole. His aim was to raise £7,500 for St Wilfrid’s DREAMBUILDING appeal and Cancer Research, while taking on the role of deputy-leader for the team helping two-time cancer survivor, Sean Swarner, to achieve his goal.
Sean, who only has one lung, is attempting to become the first cancer survivor in history to complete the ‘Explorer's Grand Slam’, which involves reaching the summit of the tallest mountains in each of the seven continents, as well as the North & South Pole!
On 1st April the team landed on the ice of the arctic to begin their expedition. For inspiration, Sean had a flag with him, made up of approximately 2,000 names of people affected by cancer. The team skied through the arctic in temperatures on an average 20 degrees lower than at the same time last year. On day 3, their doctor, Camilla, had to be airlifted out due to frostbite and across the other four teams in the polar region at that time; there were six further casualty evacuations. A team just 4km behind Paul’s was even attacked by a Polar Bear!
Importantly, the ice was good and progress for the team was fast. They reached the North Pole on 10th April - 4 days earlier than expected - helping Sean Swarmer to complete his challenge and make history!
The journey was truly awe inspiring and a huge test of both endurance and mental strength. The team came home safely on the 15th April and would like to say thank you to all their supporters for their encouragement and generosity towards the success of the Expedition to the North Pole.
Paul’s total currently sits at £11,010 and he intends to donate £10,000 of this to DREAMBUILDING – St Wilfrid’s New Hospice Appeal.