A Laois man is taking on the huge feat of trekking to Base Camp, Mount Everest in aid of the Down Syndrome Centre Midlands.
Colm Swayne who is originally from Stradbally but lives in Portlaoise is an ex-army man with huge determination to complete the 18,000 ft task to Base Camp, Mount Everest.
Colm will take on the 18 day journey to raise much needed funds for children with Down Syndrome in the Midlands.
The Centre works hard to create an environment dedicated to providing support and services to children with Down Syndrome, their families and carers, helping them to reach their full potential and a brighter future.
A picture of Base Camp, Mount Everest.
“I have always had a soft spot for people with Down Syndrome, they can’t climb to base camp for themselves so I want to do it to help them.
“I would have done hill climbing in the army and it was always on my bucket list to climb Everest and I just thought there is no point doing it for nothing.
“My training is almost done I have travelled around Ireland and to Scotland to prepare, I am well prepared for it and the altitude shouldn’t be a problem,” Colm said.
Colm recently climbed Croagh Patrick in preparation.
Colm is travelling to Kathmandu, Nepal on September 6, to begin the trek.
“I am travelling with a group of 15 individuals but I don’t know any of them, I am essentially doing it by myself.
“I think if you are dedicated enough, anything is possible.
“I work in the prison and I worked the time in and came to an agreement to take all of my annual leave at once.
“If you are going to do something you might as well do it right. If I put my mind to something nothing will deter me, I am very passionate about anything I do,” he said.
Anyone who wants to donate and help Colm can do so HERE.
Colm pictured with some of the families of the Down Syndrome Centre Midlands.
“There will be cards around town, a donation box in the prison and an online donation system which is going well so far.
“People tend to glance at these things but if they took the time to look further they would see it is for a great cause.
“I want to thank anybody who takes the time to donate to Midlands Down Syndrome, they give people with Down Syndrome time and effort, they treat them the same as everyone else, I was with them last week swimming in the Leisure Centre which was fantastic.
“It takes time and effort for them to do things that other people take for granted.
Colm’s family and friends are not worried about the 18,000 ft trek.
“I am a free spirit, they know that I will be back.
“I would be worried that I wouldn’t raise enough money for the Midlands Down Syndrome Centre.
“I want to thank everybody who has noticed what we are doing. It is not easy for people to donate but it is for a great cause,” Colm said.
Keep up to date with Colm's journey on the Down Syndrome Centre Midlands Facebook page here.