Retired Hartlepool nurse battling Crohn’s disease completes Arctic challenge

A retired nurse has raised more than £4,000 for charity after completing a survival challenge in freezing temperatures in Sweden.

Saturday, 7th May 2022, 4:45 am

Gill Haran, 47, spent two nights sleeping outdoors in sub zero temperatures without electricity or running water.

The challenge, in Raftälven, Föllinge, in Northern Sweden, also saw Gill and her teammates build a shelter and dig a snow cave during the three days of the adventure.

Gill, from the Belle Vue area of town, has said temperatures outside their shelter on the second night measured at -23°C.

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Gill completes the Arctic Survival challenge.

"During the day it was round about 0°C, but because you were so busy preparing the next shelter, we didn’t notice the cold so much,” said Gill.

"The first day that we got there, it was a bit of a shock. The air was really dry and it’s taking the moisture even from your lungs and you’re having to drink more, but once you spent half a day there, you don’t notice it anymore.”

She added: "There was plenty of snow. It was brilliant.”

Gill was initially planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in a charity trek last September until her health worsened and she was no longer able to make the journey.

Gill has said temperatures on a night would fall well below zero.

“I think because of what I’ve gone through with ill health, it really makes you appreciate whatever time you have left on this earth. You just have to grab the moments, the excitement, the adventures, to make memories,” said Gill.

She wants to raise awareness about the importance of including people with disabilities in the workplace and hopefully volunteer or do work experience a couple of days a week.

Gill and her teammates had to build their own shelter.

Over the past two years, Gill has also raised more than £4,000 for Base U.K. and WoodMor Foundation CIC, which will be split equally between the charities.

“I am a different person to what I was two years ago. It’s given me a little bit back that I had lost. I am so grateful.”

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