Just Audi VW is proud to sponsor £115 towards a young local man, Oliver Teather (29), who lives with a rare muscle wasting condition called Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD). Oliver is a very confident and ambitious guy. He has travelled to many countries, seen some amazing places and has experienced how other cultures live. Unfortunately while travelling Australia, Oliver started getting swollen knees and his Achilles was in a lot of pain, that's when he decided to go see a doctor in Melbourne. After many tests, he was diagnosed with FSHD Type 1. This wasn't stopping him in any way and the ambition to carry on with his dreams was still strong. There's one person Oliver took inspiration from and that was Ben Fogle. Oliver went to see him at De Montfort University while he was on tour speaking about his thrilling stories from crossing Antarctica to conquering Everest. After listening to his fantastic stories of climbing Mount Everest, Oliver wanted his own challenge, this was when he booked Kilimanjaro just a week later. With no idea at the time what he was getting himself in for, only knowing he was going to be with 10 other people facing the same challenge. Oliver was full of confidence and knew this was the way he wanted to raise awareness, and some funds along the way, towards Muscle Dystrophy UK. He had a Facebook page and website set up to help promote his adventure, as well as having a place that he could show how he was getting along.
After a year of training with Jonny, a personal trainer (at Total Fitness in Lincoln), Oliver was psyched and ready to take on the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro. Oliver flew out on 31st January 2020 and after a 14-hour flight, the time had come to face the biggest challenge he has ever set himself! Who would have thought after meeting up with everyone for the first time and to get geared up, one of the first things to sort was the toilet situation! They had 6 long days ahead and the choice was to use a long drop, covered in flies and faeces? Or pay for the porters to carry a porta-potty up and down the mountain that would get cleaned every day, mmm choices, which one would you choose? I know what I would choose! Other than the toilet, there were more important things to worry about like... no wifi! Which meant they had to talk to each other.
Oliver faced some difficult challenges going up the mountain, the altitude changes, feeling tired, nauseous, hungry and dehydrated. His porter supported him the whole way, especially as he got closer to the summit and pushed him through, giving him the confidence to carry on. The porter even gave him massages while going up the mountain to keep his muscles relaxed and warm. But Six (the porter) wasn't the only help he had, due to sharing a tent with an Australian man called Fraser Oliver didn't need to set an alarm, he got woken up by him to let him know it was morning and awoke to what they called a knock-knock tea/coffee and a bowl of water for washy washy. Talk about luxuries!
When looking through the photos from the bottom to the summit of the mountain, it was strange to see what seemed like Oliver going through all weather seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter then reverse when coming back down. Oliver did a fantastic job, pushing himself to make it to the summit of the mountain with great support from everyone around him. Oliver shared his experience on Facebook and Instagram - saying "This is probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I've doubted myself and been pushed hard to my limits. I started this as a challenge and then decide to raise money for MDUK, they've been a fantastic support for myself as I suffer from the condition personally. The group I was lucky enough to meet and trek with was incredible and I couldn't have wished for a better time. If there is anything I could take away from this, it would be that you need to believe in yourself and push yourself to be the best you! Follow your dreams!"
If you would like to see Oliver's success story or make a donation please go onto the following link: