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Jeanette Pickup is re-acclimatising to work back at Leek United after the challenge of a lifetime on the world’s highest mountain.

Customer Assistant Jeanette has just returned from a gruelling but rewarding trek to reach Everest Base Camp – in aid of the hospital unit that saved her life.

She joined an expedition climbing up to seven hours a day, eventually reaching Base Camp at an altitude of 5,364 metres. And after testing her mind and body to the limit, Jeanette has also reached the peak of personal fundraising – with almost £4,500 for the Acute Stroke Unit at the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent.

In April 2016, the Unit treated Jeanette after she collapsed with a serious stroke at her home. Since then, she has fought to regain her health, strength and fitness – and decided she wanted to challenge herself to the limit as a way of thanking the hospital for saving her.

“The trek was nothing short of life-changing – utterly amazing,” said Jeanette, 47, of Stockton Brook, Stoke-on-Trent. “To be climbing in sight of the ice boulders and glaciers, day after day, is something I’ll never forget.

“The trek certainly wasn’t without its extra challenges; the higher we got, the more basic the tea-rooms we stopped at became – and we were having to crack ice just to use the toilets…which were usually just holes in the floor!” said Jeanette.

“Having survived something that could have ended my life, I think I came out of my stroke mentally stronger. Now that I’ve achieved what I set out to do on Everest, I want to be able to say a final, proper ‘thank you’ to the hospital for the fact that I was there to do it all…”

Jeanette is still collecting donations via her special Virgin moneygiving page, and expects her final total to be around £4,500.

Leek United Operations Director John Kelly added: “Jeanette has taken ‘going the extra mile’ to the absolute extreme; we’re all tremendously proud of her and what she’s achieved.”

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