Laval social worker climbs Kilimanjaro

Laval social worker climbs Kilimanjaro

Team raises $130,000 for Canadian Tire Jump Start program

By Rhonda Massad

Annie Langlois is a social worker at CLSC Laval. When her boss, Nancy Morneau, approached her in the summer of 2013, to participate in a once in a lifetime experience she was ready for the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

“After a long year of personal challenges I was ready for a new goal so I accepted” Langlois told The Suburban. The challenge included not only the climb but the raising funds for the Canadian Tire Jump Start program in order to participate.

Jump Start helps Canadian families who can’t otherwise afford to enroll their children in sport or recreation activities.

Langlois was one of two women on the 16-member Jump Start team—all from Canada—that made the Kilimanjaro climb.

They raised more than $130,000 for Jump Start.

The trip itself took place in January 2014. It costs about $4,000 toward which Langois donated $2,500. It did not stop there for the team at CLSC Laval. Over a span of several months, there were spaghetti dinners and bake sales to help raise funds.

“My family, friends and colleagues gave what they could to encourage me,” she explained.

Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 m (19,341 ft) above sea level. The climb took eight days: seven to climb and one to descend. Seven guides and 63 porters accompanied the climbers to carry tents, food and baggage.

“The African people were so kind and welcoming,” she said. “They were always smiling and singing to keep us motivated.”

Langlois trains physically as a daily routine but she added several hikes before leaving for Africa to be in the best shape possible.

“The altitude makes it hard to breath and it gets worse every day, by the summit we were at 50% less oxygen than normal, which can cause headaches and dizziness” she said.

“Medication is added to the drinking water to ensure that the hikers don’t get sick—and there are no showers or washrooms for the whole eight days.”

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From Laval to Kilimanjaro:
Annie Langlois of Laval and Denis Legault of Pointe Claire helped a 16-member Canadian team to raise more than $130,000 for underprivileged youth by scaling the summit of Africa’s Kilimanjaro—the world’s tallest freestanding mountain.
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