Trevor climbs Kilimanjaro for the SPCA!
Brave teacher climbs Kilimanjaro for the LOWER SOUTH COAST SPCA
AN altruistic mathematics teacher from Port Shepstone will be showing love to animals and inspiring his pupils and community in a big way as he climbs the highest mountain in Africa for the SPCA Lower South Coast.
After battling a chronic illness for almost 20 years Port Shepstone Secondary mathematics teacher Trevor Agandran Kannipen (45) decided to make the life-changing decision of pursuing a healthier lifestyle.
“I had been in and out of hospitals for Ulcerative colitis – an inflammation of the colon and surrounding tissue causing great discomfort and pain, for the past 20 years and last year I thought let me just try another route. So I started exercising,” said Kannipen.
While on this journey he and a friend decided arbitrarily to take on Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the SPCA.
The decision not only permanently altered his own life tremendously, but would also change the fate of an organization dedicated to the rescue and sheltering of abused, neglected and stray animals as it promoted responsible pet ownership, and provide a veterinary service for pets of underprivileged people.
With his newfound purpose the self-confessed former “couch potato” would dedicate the next nine months in enduring extensive training for this selfless act.
To date he and his group of nine friends and family members who will be joining him on the climb have undergone several trails on smaller ranges with two trips to the Drakensberg coming up.
Also, he runs 6km every afternoon, coupled with intense cardiovascular exercises every morning.
“I started out by walking just 3km around my house. Thereafter I moved up to conquering small hills and mountain in preparation,” said Kannipen.
At 6000 metres high Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain range in Africa. The trail takes seven days to complete with about 6km climbs on each day.
“While the days are used for climbing, the nights are used for resting to get the body adjusted to the climate change as that is also an important part of the journey,” explains Kannipen.
However it is as much as a mental journey as it is a physical one, he adds.
Through the exercise he said he has felt much happier and inspired his pupils to also tackle all the metaphorical mountains they are faced with on a daily basis.
“There is a saying by Sir Edmund Hillary which states,
‘It’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves’. I have found this to be particularly true in my life and I try to instil the same sentiment to everyone I encounter. If I could do it, so can anyone else.
“This illness had dictated the terms on how I should live and the side -effects of the medication left me at times with crippling effects and countless visits to the hospital.
Last year, I came to the realization that this chronic dictatorship has to be eliminated and a new regime needs to be implemented, a regime where I am in control of my body, mind and soul,” said Kannipen.
Kannipen first got introduced to the SPCA when he adopted his two dogs Leia and Jess whom he says opened his eyes and heart to all the animals in constant struggle helped by the organization.
Dalene Erasmus from the SPCA Lower South Coast said she could not believe what an amazing gift Kannipen had given to the organization. “Truly it is like a light within a very dark tunnel,” said Erasmus.
The SPCA Lower South Coast will be hosting coin laying events all over the South Coast leading up to Kannipen’s departure where THE COMMOUNITY of all ages can donate from as little as a R1 coin at schools and businesses all over the South Coast.
She encouraged the South Coast to join in to make Kannipen’s dream come true by donating to the betterment of animal welfare.
“Trevor’s teaching is two-fold, first he is teaching us that through hard work and dedication anything is possible and secondly he is teaching children from a very young age about the importance of animal welfare,” said Erasmus.
The greatest way to show your love to animals is by donating towards their food and medical cost.
For more information on how to donate to the “SPCA Trevor” initiative contact Dalene at the Lower South Coast SPCA on 0728785721 or email on marketing@lowersouthcoastspca.
Shared with much hope! Please help the Lower South Coast SPCA to raise funds to sterilize animals!