Leeton resident Lauren Grant has returned from spending eight days climbing to the Mount Everest Base Camp - it was gruelling, but more than that, it was rewarding.
Ms Grant completed the climb not just for herself, but to raise awareness and funds for domestic violence organisations.
She spent a year training for the climb, which she completed over the eight days with a small group of others and their guide.
"It was brilliant ... I am so glad I trained the way I did in the lead up because it was really full on," Ms Grant said.
"I enjoyed it, but I can imagine if you didn't train, it would have been so much harder. You can't prepare for the altitude. That's probably my main takeaway from it. There was 10 of us in my group and we all made it.
"It was an awesome feeling making it to the end. At the same time, we were so exhausted as well, so everyone was glad to finish. When you're up there it was 50 per cent less oxygen, it was tough. Amazing, but tough. When I saw Everest, I did get emotional because it was something I wanted to see my whole life."
Once back at Kathmandu, Ms Grant said the first thing she did was take a long shower followed by a steak dinner.
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Ms Grant wanted to complete the highly-physical climb both to challenge herself, but to also raise important awareness and money for two domestic violence organisations.
These two organisations were Refuge UK and White Ribbon Australia.
Ms Grant grew up in the UK and the issue of domestic violence is one that is close to home for her.
Her mother was a victim of abuse and passed away in 2019 from what Ms Grant said were the "knock on effects" of domestic violence.
She hopes more people in the community will start to have conversations and discussions around the issue.
"Even when I was starting out on this journey and sharing some really personal experiences through the gofundme page, I deleted it to start off with ... I wasn't sure people would even care, but also there's still that shame around domestic violence," Ms Grant said.
"I would love for that to change. I have had so many people message me and say how they have been impacted or someone they know has.
"I think it's something we should all be talking about so people who are victims feel comfortable speaking out and getting help."
Ms Grant thanked everyone who donated along the way, saying she was grateful for the support shown by the Leeton shire community.
She has raised close to $10,500 so far, with the link still active and open to donations at https://www.gofundme.com/f/tq6rv-supporting-victims-of-domestic-violence.
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