Ride to Everest

Ride to Everest

David Donaldson, founder of LE Graphics has been fundraising for Action Cancer for 22 years and in October 2023 David set out on his eleventh and most technical international challenge yet. The aim was to raise funds and awareness for two great charities. Here he explains all:

On 6th October 2023 I boarded a plane in Dublin to embark on the first leg of what was to be my most successful fundraising challenge yet. 

After around 48 hours of travel I arrived in Nepal. Upon arriving in Kathmandu I met up with a small group of adventure motorcyclists from around the globe together with our Nepalese support team.

After a a couple of days spent organising Chinese border entry permits for Tibet and kitting out my Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycles, I set out to face up to the first of many challenges: getting out of Kathmandu in one piece on a motorcycle! Quite literally it was “all uphill” from there.

This extreme 2340 Km journey took me across the desolate and lonely high altitude plains of the Tibetan Plateau. In the saddle for 15 days and at times riding at over 17,000 feet in the thin Himalayan air both on and off road. It was definitely the most challenging fundraiser I’ve attempted yet!  

Eventually I reached my ultimate destination, Mount Everest’s North Face Base Camp at 5200 metres above sea level.

Of course, what goes up must come down and after a night camping at basecamp I set out to complete the circular journey back to Kathmandu by motorcycle, before commencing the long journey home.

£29,000 Raised

I am pleased to announce that this challenge has been one of the most successful yet.

Total donations were £18,400. I’ve topped this up to £19,000 and am very pleased to be able to handover £14,000 to Action Cancer to help with their amazing work right here in Northern Ireland.

I’m equally pleased to be able to handover £5,000 to Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign. This will be fund matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation at a ration of 2:1 which means that the End Polio Now campaign will received £15,000

So, thanks to YOUR donations and support, the total benefit between the two charities is an amazing £29,000.00 

In Memory

In January 2021, in the midst of the global pandemic, I lost my mentor and my greatest role model. My father Robert passed away leaving a massive void in the lives of all who knew him. 

Dad had been a victim of polio, living his whole life with the after effects of this terrible disease. Ultimately, it was complications as a result of his childhood polio and the ensuing post polio syndrome which took him away from us.

For this, my eleventh international charity challenge, I have decided to mix it up a bit and use this opportunity to raise vital funds for not one but two very worthwhile charities. One local to Northern Ireland and one International.

The money raised through the Ride to Everest Challenge will be split with approximately 75% going to Action Cancer and 25% going to the Rotary International End Polio Now campaign. End Polio Now is currently the beneficiary of a generous 2 for 1 fund matching programme through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation meaning that the 25% going there will be tripled up to the same value as the 75% going to Action Cancer.


End Polio Now

The eradication of polio is one of Rotary international’s longest standing and most significant efforts. End Polio Now has helped to immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries.

Because of the efforts of Rotary and its partners almost 19 million people are walking today who would otherwise have been paralysed. A worldwide reduction in cases of 99.9%, but until it is totally eradicated it may only be a flight away from any of us.

Action Cancer

Action Cancer is Northern Ireland’s leading, local cancer charity (Registration Number 104170). Their mission is to save lives and support local people through cancer awareness, prevention, detection and support.
I have been fundraising for Action Cancer since 2001 and have worked hard to support them in as many ways as possible. All in all I have raised in excess of £125,000 for the charity in the years since. You can read a little about my previous fundraising here.


If you would like me to speak at an event about either Action Cancer or End Polio Now and the great work they do. Or about this or any of my previous fundraising challenges, please contact me.

Thank you to fellow adventure-biker and professional photographer Iain Crockart for these great photographs.

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