Newton Stewart’s Sammi Wood lived out her dream of climbing Cairnsmore at the weekend with a little help from Galloway Mountain rescue and some keen friends.
Earlier in the year, 22-year old Sammi wrote a poem about how she longed to see the view from the top of the hill that towers over her hometown. She thought this would be an impossibility due her mobility challenges as a result of encephalitis which left her with a weakness in her left side. She also suffers from epilepsy.
But her poem was spotted by a member of Galloway Mountain Rescue after being shared online and soon, a plan had taken shape to get Sammi to the top and, at her request, raise a few quid for Epilepsy Scotland. She soon embarked on a training regime to strengthen her legs and make the climb up the 711-metre picture-perfect hill that bit easier.
Sadly, on Sunday, the weather wasn’t on the walkers’ side but this didn’t deter Sammi, her 26 friends and family and the Mountain Rescue team from completing their mission and raising over £2000 so far.
With a start time of 10.45am, the team had allowed a six-hour window for the challenge but actually made it to the summit by two minutes after 2pm and were back down by 4.30pm. Sammi took with her a plaque made for her by James McKenzie of Galloway Stone Products and Gordon Christison of Galloway Signs to commemorate her accomplishment.
Rain, hail, wind and heavy fog punctuated with sunshine made for an interesting but chilly venture, and Sammi was able to catch glimpses of the view along the way.
She said afterwards: “It was definitely a dream come true and the best day of my life.
“The biggest thank you goes to the Galloway Mountain rescue Team, my mum and dad and everybody who came along to support me and donated to my fundraiser. Thanks also to mark McKie for coming along and capturing my day on camera.”
Sammi and family enjoyed an emotional week all in after welcoming her nephew Nathan to the world on Wednesday and fulfilling her dream on Sunday.
Her JustGiving page will remain active for three weeks and can be found at http://www.justgiving.com/linda-wood5. You can see more photos on the facebook page, Sammi’s Cairnsmore Climb.