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Volunteer attempting feat for people w arthritis

Media Release

For immediate release
7th December 2009

Volunteer attempting feat for people with arthritis

This weekend Ms Kelly Muirden will be attempting to climb Aoraki/Mt Cook as a fundraiser for Arthritis New Zealand.

This comes right after International Volunteer Day on 5th December, and is a reminder of the amazing heights some New Zealanders will go to for their favourite charities.

Muirden says it has been something she has always wanted to do, but it was her mother’s condition that inspired her to use this challenge as a way to support other people with arthritis. “Arthritis New Zealand is there to help people with arthritis and fund research, so I thought they would be the best organisation to give back to.”

Ms Muirden’s mother has had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 24 years. “She couldn’t do a lot of the outdoors activities that I was into, like running and hiking. Arthritis cripples your joints. She’s on a specific drug to help her manage her arthritis, but she prefers more natural therapies.”

Muirden has been in training and will be climbing with Dave McKinley, a veteran of Aoraki, with almost 30 climbs under his belt. “He’s been teaching me a lot about footwork, tying knots and abseiling. I’m pretty excited.”

The pair are looking to begin their climb at 1am on Sunday morning, 13th December. “That depends on what the weather is doing though. It should take us around 15 hours to get to the summit and back”, she says.

Ms Sandra Kirby, Chief Executive for Arthritis New Zealand said; “Arthritis New Zealand couldn't do the important work in the community without the thousands of volunteers across the country, who generously give up their time every week. However, this is definitely above and beyond what we would normally expect!”

To donate, visit, or phone 0900 333 20 to make an automatic $20 donation.


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