Everest Climber Conquers the Stage for Lifeline WA Breakfast
11 NOV 2019
Mullaloo father Greg Johnson was a guest speaker at the Lifeline WA Chair’s Breakfast as he recounted his perilous journey to summit Mount Everest to raise money for the charity.
The annual breakfast event (on October 30) acknowledges Lifeline WA’s achievements over the past financial year and the efforts made by fundraisers like Mr Johnson.
Mr Johnson raised $14,000 for Lifeline WA when he climbed Everest in May – enough to fund the training of three crisis centre volunteers.
Everest, the fifth stop in Mr Johnson’s “seven summits” extreme challenge, was harder than he had anticipated and resulted in frostbite and an 8-kilogram drop in weight.
But he said the physical toll was just the start, with the addition of the mental challenge he experienced in having to climb over dead bodies on Everest.
“I saw stuff on that mountain that has traumatised me and can absolutely empathise with people in armed forces, police, ambulance who go through that every day,” Mr Johnson said.
The experience reinforced his commitment to Lifeline WA, which he will exclusively fundraise for into the future so that people facing mental health issues can access the much-needed support service.
Lifeline WA chief executive officer Lorna MacGregor applauded Mr Johnson’s dedication.
“Greg Johnson is a fantastic ambassador for Lifeline WA, and it’s incredible that he has literally put his life on the line to fundraise to help others,” she said.
“Any contribution helps make a difference for people who are struggling with their mental health, whether it’s volunteering their time as a telephone crisis supporter or donating money.
“Without volunteers and fundraisers, there wouldn’t be a crisis support service, and we were proud to recognise the contributions of all Lifeline WA supporters at the Chair’s breakfast.”
Having lived experience with mental health challenges in the past, Mr Johnson said he overcame them with the support of friends, and by focusing on “small incremental wins” and committing wholeheartedly
to achieving his goals.
Mr Johnson has already set his sights on his next set of goals, planning to climb the Carstensz Pyramid in August and swim the English Channel in 2021.
If successful, he will become one of the only people in Australia to conquer both the Seven Summits and the Channel.