An Iranian headteacher says she will risk her life to help others – despite being challenged for supporting Help For Heroes.
Doctor Shabnam Delfani of Milton Keynes, will climb 7,500 metres up Mount Everest this summer and claims she is the first woman in Milton Keynes to do so.
The headteacher of Ferdousi School for Persian children in Milton Keynes will split her fundraising efforts between HFH and Cancer Research after finding out two of her students, aged eight and 11 years old, have been diagnosed with leukemia.
Dr Delfani said: “I was so devastated when I heard that the two little boys are suffering.
“My friend’s three-year-old has also been diagnosed very recently as well as adults who are suffering with liver cancer. “It is shocking because around me there are six people living with cancer .
“It has always been in my mind that one day, if I am able to do something to help beat cancer, then I will – even if I need to put my life at risk.
“I know Mount Everest is not an easy challenge, but I am ready and prepared for that and I hope I can hit my target.”
Shabnam hopes to raise £5,000 and is planning future fundraising events in Central Milton Keynes.
But Dr Delfani, who moved to the UK to do her PhD, says her challenge has come with its own difficulties.
She said: “People don’t expect me to be supporting Help For Heroes and to be frank with you I have been advised to not mention it to people because the extremists don’t like what I am doing. They don’t agree they are heroes because the soldiers are going into their country.
“I have been challeneged on why I am helping this charity; but I believe what is correct I have to go for it –you can’t please everybody, as the English say.
“I believe the soldiers are taking a risk to protect their country and their people; it’s amazing.
“When I see some soldiers lose legs, arms or are even killed, I know they are the heroes, but some people are not happy with what I am doing and have refused to help.
“I always try to be positive; my aim is good and I am going to help, so I have to go for it.
“My son says he is proud of me.”
Dr Delfani sets off on August 10. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Dr-Shabnam-Delfani or www.bmycharity.com/shabnam2014