“Climbing a mountain is an adventure that demands physical and mental stamina, but when it’s for a noble cause, the journey becomes even more worthwhile. Recently, we had the privilege of ascending Mt Kosciuszko with our friends and colleagues at MSD Australia in support of Rare Cancers Australia and their Patient Support Team. It was a remarkable journey, full of excitement, anticipation, and breathtaking views. 

The adventure began on a cold Friday morning and despite the 7-hour coach ride ahead, the eagerness and anticipation was palpable. We were greeted with expansive views of the countryside en route. We even had a pitstop in the country town of Cooma, which was fascinating to experience the change in pace, from the hustle and bustle of Sydney.

We arrived at Kosciuszko National Park at the brink of sunset and were ready for a well-deserved dinner alongside colleagues that came from across Australia and New Zealand. Breathing in the crisp night air of the mountains was invigorating, although the cold made us all shiver a little – with anticipation of course. Walking back to our cabins after dinner, the night sky was scattered with stars. It was an almost humbling sight to behold and definitely not something you see every day! 

The next morning, we woke up early to begin our ascent to the summit. Everyone was excited and eager to start climbing. The climb was challenging, but we gave it our all. The mental and physical effort was intense, but we motivated each other to keep going. (Taylor Swift became the motivating soundtrack of the day).

After four hours of climbing, we reached the summit. It was windy and we were exhausted, but nothing could have prepared us for the view. We were all in awe of the beauty that was the summit. The pride and marvel we felt in that moment was indescribable. We had done it! and it was all in support of Rare Cancer patients. 

The descent was just as challenging as the climb, but we pushed through as a team. Finally, we reached the base, tired but proud of what we had accomplished. The day concluded as a celebration and recognition of the efforts of everyone who had stepped foot on Mt Kosciusko that day. To top off an already unforgettable weekend, MSD walked away with the Pharma Cup, having raised approximately $70,000, the most out of all participating pharmaceutical companies in the process. 

To conclude, climbing Mt Kosciuszko with work friends and colleagues is a rare experience we will never forget. The endurance and resilience displayed by everyone throughout the weekend was truly admirable. It was a great experience overall, and it brought us all closer together as a team.” 

Himanshu Singh, Chang-Chien Lin, Amie Shao, Savera Shabih