WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A nurse in Wilmington is climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
Thea Nunez is currently training to for the longest hike of her life. The 36-year-old mother of two is a type 1 diabetic and a registered nurse at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. In June, she will attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with several other diabetics from around the world.
Nunez said the trip will last ten days in total, but the actual climb will take 7 days. After the trip, she will donate the money she is raising to the JDRF to help fight juvenile diabetes.
"It never becomes easy. I never get a vacation day from diabetes, so yeah it's a challenge to say the least," Nunez explained.
Nunez is confident she will accomplish her goal though.
"If I can survive type 1 diabetes every day, I think I can handle climbing this mountain," Nunez stated.
The nurse said she has been looking into the idea of climbing the mountain for years now, but realized she needed to take action if she actually wanted to accomplish her goal.
"I decided this was a great opportunity. It's in a safe environment, so I definitely wanted to act now," said Nunez.
"I'm extremely excited and nervous. I don't know what to expect as far as altitude sickness," she elaborated. "I'm confident that I'm going to make it, so I'm trying to stay positive."
"I want to show other diabetics, and I especially want to show my children that nothing can stop you- even a chronic illness," Nunez explained.
The registered nurse has already raised close to $1,000 for juvenile diabetes research.
To learn more about Nunez's trip, visit her official Facebook page, Thea's Climb to the Top for Diabetes.