Atop Mt. Kilimanjaro, Climbing Company Founder Finds Match “Made in Heaven”

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Breast cancer survivor to marry popular trekking guru at 18,000 ft summit in September 2005. They will be climbing Kilimanjaro together again in February 2006, this time leading a group of Breast Cancer Survivors and friends up the mountain to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Research.

The last thing on your mind when leading 30 climbers up Kilimanjaro is marriage. The harsh rigors of altitude climbing are enough disincentive, let alone the responsibility for other climbers’ health and safety.

Yet in January 2004, while leading a fundraising climb for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Eddie Frank, founder of Tusker Trail (http://www.tusker.com), a pioneering Kilimanjaro climbing company, met his match.

At 18,000 feet above sea level, while on his 24th ascent of Africa’s highest mountain, it came in the form of a client, one Amy Micks, a Breast Cancer Survivor. If any encounter could qualify, this would indeed be the “match made in heaven”.

Frank, a rugged individualist and seasoned adventurer with countless hair-raising encounters under his belt, had been leading African wildlife expeditions and Kilimanjaro climbs for the past 28 years. He was splitting his time between his rustic home in Lake Tahoe, and his all-weather tent on the African plains, and then he met Ms. Micks.

“Everyone tells me my brain wasn’t working due to the lack of oxygen at high altitude,” says Frank. “But Amy’s a gem. She can trek and kayak with the best of them, and her fight with breast cancer has driven her to live each day to the max. That’s how I like to live my life as well. It sounds corny, but we’re soul mates. We knew it on the mountain.”

Micks, a world class Dragon Boat pacer, a certified Wilderness First Responder like Mr. Frank, and a native of Toronto, where she is a wildly popular Middle School teacher, went on to say that when she first met Eddie, he seemed exactly like the rogue African adventurer everyone had warned her about.

“I told him that if I had a daughter I would never introduce her to him. But then I remembered my years of experience working with maladjusted youth in a ‘Hoods in the Wood’ program, and figured I would soon remedy that.”

The pair will be getting married in September while on safari. Frank will continue to lead Tusker Trail’s rugged expeditions, and with an expanded role for Amy in Tusker’s operations, hopes to exploit her superb leadership, and outdoor people skills.

They will be climbing Kilimanjaro together again in February 2006, this time leading a group of Breast Cancer Survivors and friends up the mountain to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Research.

Given where and when they met, it’s clear that for both, the sky is the limit.

For more information on the climb, “UPKILI FOR BREASTCANCER”, you can either call Tusker Trail at 1-800-231-1919, or visit the website: http://www.tusker.com/upkili.htm.

By Ken St. Germaine

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