How far would you go to keep a promise?
A Moncton woman traveled more than 11,000 kilometers across the globe and more than 19,000 feet up the side of volcano to keep a promise to her late husband.
Jennifer Marr still dons a mask to cover severe sunburns on her lips and chin. She is still recovering from the most difficult trek of her life.
“My late husband Harley had asked me to go on an adventure in his memory. He asked me that in his last month of living,” she said.
Marr says Harley was an adventurous soul who lived life to the fullest. He died of prostate cancer seven years ago. Until this fall, Marr had yet to make good on her promise to go on a crazy adventure.
But she said that this year the timing was finally right.
Inspired and supported by her new partner Dwayne Hayes, in early October, the couple headed off for the adventure of a lifetime.
They set off on a grueling seven day hike to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Marr said it was both emotionally and physically exhausting. The experience was made worse by the fact that she fell ill just before her trip.
“It is the hardest thing physically that I have ever done for sure,” she said.
“So I was weak. I was not as strong as most of the other hikers.”
But she found strength in her team, inspired by their unwavering positive attitude and in knowing that her late husband was with her in spirit.
“I am even still thinking about it. I am breathing differently just trying to catch my breath,” she said.
WATCH: Former CFL’er to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Children’s Hospital
But she says she had to keep going knowing that she had a hand-painted stone inside of her pack that needed to be put it in its proper place.
“On the front of it, it had his favorite inspirational quote by Ghandi: ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ And on the back, it had his name and his birth and his death dates,” she said.
Barely able to breathe, Marr made it to the summit with her last ounce of energy.
“When we got to the top, we put it in the heart of the volcano,” she recalled.
It was the ultimate victory she was striving for and she believes the father of her kids would be proud.
“It was really emotional because it was, in a sense, closure,” said Marr. “I finally was able to do what I was asked to do and it felt really good.”
A promise kept.
“I think he would be like, ‘You did it! That was crazy!” Marr said when asked what her late husband would think of her achievement.
Marr and Hayes together also raised more than $20,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.