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Author Topic: CARE Canada Regrets to Announce Death of Climber on Mount Kilimanjaro  (Read 7455 times)


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My friend Mat alerted me to this news about a climber that passed away last week on Kili, during wonderful climb for Charity organised by CARE. It shows that Kilimanjaro should always be taken seriously, and that supplies of oxygen are not sufficient to prevent lethal accidents. Our condolences and strength to the family and friends and colleagues of Tusker.

CARE Canada Regrets to Announce Death of Climber on Mount Kilimanjaro

3/24/2007 9:55:15 AM
It is with great sadness that CARE Canada announces the death of Marcel Bujold, a participant in the fundraising climb of Kilimanjaro.

CARE Canada will hold a media availability on Saturday, March 24, 2007 at 11 a.m. at 9 Gurdwara Rd., Ottawa.

Mr. Bujold, a resident of Carleton, Quebec, passed away as he was being evacuated from the mountain due to illness. After suffering some distress, he was provided oxygen and was accompanied by one medically trained guide and four porters to return to the base of the mountain. Unfortunately, Mr. Bujold’s condition deteriorated, and hours into the evacuation he passed away.

Four climbers have returned to the base to be with Mr. Bujold’s wife. The remaining climbers from the two teams have informed CARE they will continue their efforts to reach the summit and will dedicate the climb to Mr. Bujold.

“We are devastated by the news of his death and send our deepest sympathies to his family and his friends,” said A. John Watson, president and CEO of CARE Canada. “Marcel had visited CARE’s projects in Kenya and was integrally involved with our work in the past through his volunteer work with us in Quebec. The news of his passing is having a profound impact on all those who were close to him.”

The Climb for CARE is an annual initiative to raise money for CARE Canada, the international aid and development organization. The Hon. John Manley is participating in the climb, but was not climbing with Mr. Bujold’s group. Manley’s team is one full day ahead of the second group.

CARE Canada climbs are conducted by Tusker Trail, a well-known climbing organization that focuses on the health and safety of its climbers and staff in all of its climbs of Mount Kilimanjaro. All guides receive high altitude medical training and Tusker conducts daily medical tests on climbers and staff.

Tusker states that between five to fifteen people die climbing Kilimanjaro each year, while up to 30,000 people climb the mountain annually; this is the first death of a climber on a Tusker Trail climb in the 30-year history of the organization.

“CARE works with Tusker because of their high standard of safety and security,” said Watson. “Many of our own staff members have undertaken the climb and have placed their full confidence in the ability of the guides and of the company. What has happened on the mountain is tragic for us all.”

The Climb for CARE first took place in 2005. Participants volunteer to participate in the climb and raise money for CARE Canada.

Mr. Bujold had said he was climbing Kilimanjaro because it was one of his oldest dreams, and because he shared CARE’s objectives and values. He joined CARE’s Conseil Consultatif ten years ago as a volunteer and dedicated his time to raising funds for the organization for his three-year tenure.

Many of the climbers with Mr. Bujold were his close friends and are devastated by the loss of the tremendous man and dedicated volunteer.

Marcel Bujold in his own words:

Born in the Gaspé Peninsula, I am the son and grandson of fishermen, and occasionally a fisherman myself. I have three children and four grandchildren. After graduating from a private high school in New Brunswick and from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Physical Education, I spent the next 20 years working as a teacher and an administrator at the Collège de la Gaspésie.

In 1988, I left the world of education to join my fellow shareholders in a small cable television company and to learn a new trade. Ever since I retired in 1998, my life has been very full. I am still active on the boards of several organizations; I have built a new house on the banks of the Baie-des-Chaleurs; and I travel on a regular basis.

Always on the lookout for new adventures, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is one of my oldest dreams. And because I share CARE’s objectives and endorse its mission statement, the idea of carrying out this expedition with this organization appealed to me right away. My spouse Pauline and I have had the opportunity to visit four of CARE’s projects in Kenya and we were completely overwhelmed by the immense need of this developing country. But we also marveled at the quality of CARE’s work, practically because it is carried out mostly by local workers.

“It’s really great to be able to fulfill one of my dreams; doing it for such a worthy cause makes it even better.”
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
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