Amy’s mountain climb in honour of nan

WELL-KNOWN Grafton woman June Baker, who died from a rare cancer last year, is to be honoured by her granddaughter with a mountain climb.

Amy Rendell will be hiking the 6189m Mount Island Peak to pay tribute to the ‘nan’ who helped raise her while she raises awareness and funds for Rare Cancer Australia.

“Last year on Easter Sunday in April she sadly passed away… we were pretty close, we lost her to a really rare cancer,” Ms Rendell said.

Mrs Baker died one year after being diagnosed with small cell carcinoma of the bladder.

“It acts like lung cancer so that’s how doctors treat it – it’s the only way they know how.

“The cancer is known for spreading rapidly to the brain. My grandmother had a lot of treatment and two months after she finished she had a bad fall. A CT scan revealed she fell because the cancer had spread.”

Ms Rendell said her grandmother had lived in Grafton her whole life and was known throughout the community.

“Back when she was younger, her husband Rodney was a (Grafton jail) warden. Pop was the longest serving warden, he still holds that record,” she said.

“Nan also gave her services for 20 years and in honour of her they named (a section) The June Baker Unit for Women.”

She said her grandmother was also heavily involved with the Jacaranda Festival serving as Matron of Honour in 1999. She also owned her own hair salon business on Prince Street.

In October this year Ms Rendell and her partner will commence the expedition and travel to the Himalayas to tackle the peak described as Mt Everest’s not-so little brother.

Amy and her partner will be travelling with a small expedition team (Escape Trekking Adventure) including six other people.

“We were fortunate enough to be sponsored by a cross-fit team with altitude masks, Melinda Bessell from Cross Fit Vixens. That will help our respiratory system.”

Ms Rendell is no stranger to climbing mountains, the highest altitude she has conquered so far sits at 4500m.

“I’m sort of crossing into unknown territory, ice axes, tied into the mountain… It’s going to be challenging and rewarding,” she said.

In training Ms Rendell uses equipment that will simulate the conditions for the dangerous and extreme climb.

“We jump on the treadmill or go down to the beach with our heavy packs on, do rock climbing, and train with an altitude mask.”

If they are successful in this climb, Ms Rendell has plans on looking for bigger summits to conquer to raise funds.

Rendell said the more people that know about the organisation Rare Cancer Australia the more successful they will be with donations and funding.

She has set the goal to raise $5000. You can contribute here: www.rarecancers.

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