Bereaved friend says Trek Sahara was “trip of a lifetime”

2 min read

A woman who lost her best friend to a brain tumour has said that a fundraising trip to the North African desert was one of the most fulfilling experiences of her life.

Alison Theobald, from Dorset, and three close friends, Jo, Lisa and Kelly, embarked on a Trek Sahara challenge last year together in memory of their beloved friend Michelle Klust (pictured below), known as Shell, who died in February 2018 of an astrocytoma. She was just 41.

The six-day 50km trek took the friends – who form part of a group called Shell’s Belles that has raised more than £20,000 for Brain Tumour Research – through the Moroccan desert, across ancient dried-up riverbeds, ever-changing dunes and vast sun-baked plains.

Alison, a financial advisor, said: “We didn’t have any hesitation in signing up for this challenge. Our attitude was, even if it’s hard, it’s not going to be as hard as what Shell went through.

“The trek itself was amazing, a once in a lifetime experience. The endless landscape, sleeping under the stars, traditional food cooked for us by the local Berber guides, incredible sunsets.

“And anyone can do it. I’m not super fit. I just made sure I did some distance walking before I went and the organisers provided a list of everything we needed to take with us to make it a success.”

Now, we are inviting supporters to join our Trek Sahara 2025 challenge, which will take place during Brain Tumour Awareness Month, from Thursday 27th March to Tuesday 1st April 2025.

“None of us want to be in the brain tumour community but once you’re a part of it, you want to do something to help,” Alison added.

“This is an opportunity to do something incredible for a charity that needs support to find a cure for this awful disease and at the same time create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.”

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