My mum loved the views over Willen Lake.
After she passed away, our family were dealing with the immense pain and feelings of loss. As I sat on the bench overlooking the water, I was very emotional, but I just knew I had to do something special to honour her memory. Willen Hospice had taken great care of her and I decided there and then I wanted to give something in return.
I began researching various challenges that I could tackle to raise funds. One day I was was watching a video of people climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge and something resonated with me. Now, you have to understand - I am afraid of heights - really afraid! This would be a serious challenge in terms of overcoming that fear.
Every time I pictured myself high up on that bridge, my stomach lurched just at the thought. As weeks passed, I kept thinking of the opportunity and at last I found the courage and booked the trip. There was no turning back!
Last year I travelled to Australia with my family to complete the climb. It was daunting on the day, I hadn't been able to eat from all the nerves. Once I was kitted out and strapped into a harness, ready to go, wind conditions became too extreme and the event was cancelled. I couldn't believe it. I had built up all that confidence over months, just for it to be dashed! My determination got the better of me and the next day I returned, facing my fear for a second day in a row. It felt like deja vu as I was strapped in and harnessed up again, and then it was finally time to climb the massive structure.
It was dusk when we set off but soon the city lights came on below. You have no idea how beautiful and silent it is when you are that high up. The views are indescribable. There's an uninterrupted panorama. The city lights just seemed to go on and on into the distance. They don't call it "360 degrees of unforgettable" for nothing.
I had done it. I was 134 metres above sea level. I had conquered my worst fear and in the silence and darkness, I really felt mum was up there with me every step of the way, saying ‘Well done’.
I couldn't be more proud. I did it for mum. I did it for myself. I did it for Willen Hospice.
I have now raised almost £700 and at every opportunity I will find events and challenges where I can carry on raising funds and helping to make a difference.
Willen Hospice needs £7 every minute of every day just to keep going, to carry on providing the same specialist end of life care that they gave to my mum when she needed it most.
??Read more and donate to Robert Lee's Justgiving page.