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Reaching the Summit
30 December 2020

To date, we have exceeded our fundraising target for The Vertical Challenge 2020, raising almost $310,000. The success of the initiative is a collective effort from all individuals and teams to rally support from their networks.

By Toh Wei Shi, HCA Community Relations

American mountaineer Conrad Anker once said, “The summit is what drives us, but the climb itself is what matters.”

For the participants of The Vertical Challenge 2020, completing the climb is a meaningful journey to raise funds for HCA and create greater awareness of the palliative care cause.

The Vertical Challenge 2020 drew participants from all walks of life, united by the same passion to create more good days for patients facing the end of life. The different categories were tailored to suit varying fitness levels and personal preferences, making it accessible for everyone.

Dizzying Heights

Some, like Mr Kwong Tze Cheong, bravely stepped up to the 2020m challenge (competitive category), the highest tier of The Vertical Challenge 2020. “My friend, Kelly, who also participated in the challenge, reached out to me and asked if I would like to raise funds for HCA,” Tze Cheong explains. “I decided to join after hearing her out.”

Tze Cheong is no stranger to daunting fitness challenges, having clocked lengthy trail runs on a regular basis. “I used to do elevation runs at Bukit Timah Hill and Bukit Batok Nature Park, so I felt confident enough to take on the challenge,” he explains.

Tze Cheong navigating the steps of his 2020m vertical challenge.

Participants who opt for the competitive category have to complete their vertical challenge in one attempt, which adds considerable difficulty. “Although I run regularly, completing the challenge was not an easy task, as it needs to be done in one go,” Tze Cheong shares. “Of course, raising funds is also a challenge in itself!”

Baby Steps

Apart from seasoned fitness enthusiasts, the Vertical Challenge also welcomed the eager participation of little two-year-old, Stuart and his parents. Affectionately named Mighty Mice, the little family unit decided to combine their son’s love for climbing stairs with the opportunity to contribute to a meaningful cause.

The little boy doing his part for HCA.

"Stuart loves climbing stairs – everywhere we go, whenever he sees stairs or steps, he will insist on climbing,” Mr Tan Guo Wei shares. “We thought it would be a good idea to channel his energy and passion to do something good for the community.”

“We came across The Vertical Challenge in our Google search and thought, ‘That’s it!’.”

Despite the difficulties of tracking vertical gain accurately with the app they were using, Guo Wei and his wife decided to focus on the fun their little boy was having instead of stressing over recording the results.

The Mighty Mice team on their challenge.

Most importantly, it was a valuable opportunity for the couple to instil compassion and empathy. “We believe that even at a young age, our boy understands the needs of others and is aware of his ability to help and be compassionate,” Guo Wei says. “We showed him HCA’s corporate video and explained to him that we climbed steps to raise money for the patients.”

“He may not be able to understand fully yet but it is fine. Talking about community needs is the first step to opening up the hearts of our children.”

To support The Vertical Challenge 2020, please visit https://www.thedandelionevents.org/donate!0