Hornchurch man climbs Mount Kilimanjaro for Havering Mind and in memory of girlfriend
PUBLISHED: 10:15 30 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18 30 October 2017
In memory of his girlfriend who took her own life earlier this year, a 27-year-old climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and raised thousands of pounds for a worthy cause.
Paul Tang, of Hornchurch, took on the challenge of hiking to the top of the summit - almost 6,000m high up - and despite suffering from nausea, lack of breathe and hallucinations due to the altitude, he managed to achieve his goal.
“For me, the challenge was the hardest thing that I have ever done.
“You feel like you have the flu, but you had to carry on trekking further up.
“I had episodes where I thought my shoe laces turned into snakes and was slithering around.
“I have come back home and everyone has said how amazing it sounds and I am both proud and relieved about this whole challenge.”
Milena, 23, from Chigwell, originally flew over from Poland to live in the UK about four years ago to be closer to her sister who also made the move.
While living here, Milena met and fell in love with Paul and they were together for the majority of the time she spent in the country.
But after her sister died last year, Milena started to show signs of ill mental health, claiming her hair was falling out when numerous doctors said she was perfectly healthy.
Milena soon disappeared and Paul never heard from her again but earlier this year her body was found in a lake in Poland.
Paul wanted to climb the mountain not only for Milena but for mental health charity Havering Mind.
He was doing the hike alongside life-long friend Benny Cheung, of Upminster, but at 2500m, he slipped on the path and pulled a ligament in his knee.
The pair managed to raise £3,600 for the cause.
Paul said: “The best feeling was to touch the sign at the peak and hold up the picture of Milena as both me and Benny wanted to.
“I wished Benny was there also but I was glad that at least one of us made it to the top.
“It made us both proud to have done this challenge and I was ecstatic about it all.”