Not everyone decides that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is the best way to raise money for cancer. But that’s because not everyone is like Carol Morris.
Carol always loved nature and being active outside, but it was not until she was diagnosed with blood cancer 14 years ago that her love of nature started to get, well, extreme.
Despite still being in treatment, Carol began training for her first marathon, which she ran in 2004.
We know Carol’s story not just because of her amazing accomplishments, but because she’s one of our own. She has been working at Nelnet since January 2013 and is a regional vice president for FACTS.
Since the inaugural marathon, she has done 18 events with Team in Training, a fundraising program for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Events have included marathons, cycling, and triathlons, but now she’s ready for the next challenge.
Carol said with a laugh that she decided to summit Mount Kilimanjaro because she needed a new way to raise money.
“I’ve done so many of these events my friends and family basically run from me because they know I need to raise money,” she said.
Because Nelnet is a $5,000 donor, Carol will hold a banner that says Nelnet when she reaches the top of the mountain. She hopes to raise $1 for every foot of the 19,341-foot peak. To track her fundraising total or donate to her cause, check out her personal page.
Her training consists of mostly cardio during the week. Weekends are spent driving hours away from her sea-level home in San Diego to reach a higher elevation. She spends around 10 hours on Saturday hiking only to hike 10 more on Sunday.
“I’m so grateful,” Carol said. “I know how lucky I am to be here.”
She says she stays motivated during training by finding beauty in the struggle.
“I get to be here to have that struggle,” she said. “So many people didn’t make it and would have given anything to exchange places with me.”
Her summit begins on July 16 and is expected to last nine days. During the month of July, associates are encouraged to participate in a wellness challenge in solidarity. Join Carol in her journey in Quarter 3 by participating in a wellness challenge to ascend 2,500 flights of stairs, the approximate equivalent of a climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Watch for more details in July when the Climb Kilimanjaro With Carol wellness challenge goes live!