‘My sister was with me every step of the way to Everest Base Camp’

Sarah Marchbank with Brian Thomson at Everest Base Camp
Sarah Marchbank with Brian Thomson at Everest Base Camp
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EMMA Noble was talented, loved and dreamed big. Ambitions that were genuinely sky high, like her desire to one day conquer the 17,601ft trek to Base Camp on Mount Everest.

But it wasn’t to be. A little more than three years ago, because of complications fuelled by her Type 1 Diabetes, she died. She was just 46.

Yet she always inspired people, not least her sister Sarah Marchbank.

Which is why Sarah chose to leave her home in Edinburgh to complete the epic trek over 18 days in Emma’s memory. And in doing so, help raise money for Diabetes UK.

Sarah said: “Emma was a talented researcher at Newcastle University. She was diagnosed diabetic aged just four but never let diabetes rule her life and loved to travel.

“It was her dream to visit the Himalayas and trek to Base Camp but she sadly died suddenly without warning in August 2014 aged 46 from complications from her Type 1.

“So I decided to trek there on her behalf.”

She added: “Physically and emotionally it was tough, but I am convinced Emma was there in spirit with me every step of the way.

“It seemed fitting at the end of the expedition to drop a photo of her into the water from one of the many suspension bridges I crossed so that a little piece of her remains in Nepal.”

Sarah raised an impressive £1700 from the trek for Diabetes UK which takes the total amount donated to Diabetes UK since Emma’s death to well over £6000.

She is still taking donations at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-marchbank1

The trip was also completed by Brian Thomson from Hamilton, who was inspired to successfully complete his fifth challenge on behalf of the charity by his 17-year-old daughter Hayley who was diagnosed with Type 1 when she was six.

Brian – Fundraiser of the Year at Diabetes Scotland Inspire Awards 2017 – has so far raised around £20,000 for the charity.

He said: “As well as Type 1 diabetes, my daughter Hayley also has a learning disability which means she has to rely on us to make sure her blood sugar levels are under control. But I would like to see more information and training given to schools as there have several instances over the years where Hayley’s blood glucose has been low and teachers didn’t pick up on it.”

Claire Fleming, scting director of the charity, said: “We are honoured and hugely grateful when people choose to take on tough challenges to support our work.”