Kate Bargery is a compliance manager at S.Com, an IT and telecoms recruitment specialist. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer three years ago. In 2001, she took part in an overseas trek for Macmillan Cancer Relief and has since continued to raise money.
Why did you become involved with Macmillan Cancer Relief? My first contact was through sponsoring a friend on Macmillan's Sahara trek, but I only became fully aware of its work when I was diagnosed with cancer. The NHS treated the illness, but Macmillan provided the aftercare.
What motivated you to take part in the Costa Rica trek?I took part in a trek across Iceland for Macmillan in 2001 and had a fantastic time.
I knew that the 2002 Costa Rica trek was its first trip out there. I hate insects and dislike camping, so I relished the physical and mental challenge.
I had never been to that part of the world before and thought that the discomforts were a small price to pay for the chance to help.
How did the locals react to the expedition? With absolute disbelief.
They thought we were mad, especially as we were the first group of European women to trek and camp in that part of the Cloud Forest. Everyone in the village where the trek wound up came out of their homes to greet us by clapping and singing.
Do you consider these treks to be a useful fundraising tool for charities?
Definitely. I get a buzz not only from going out on the trek, but also from the lengthy fundraising process beforehand. I have no qualms asking for money or roping in friends and family to help. My friend and I raised £18,000 for Macmillan through the trek and I'm planning to join another very soon.