Irish Cancer Survivor Hikes Iceland Glacier on Crutches
By R. Bryan Willits, Editorial Assistant
August / September 2016
Irish woman Nikki Bradley, a courageous survivor of a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing’s sarcoma, has just defied the odds once again after climbing an Icelandic glacier on crutches.
Since she was diagnosed in 2002 at the age of 16, Nikki has been battling cancer now for nearly a decade and half, and after double hip replacement and now the possibility that she might lose her right leg, she has endeavored to raise awareness of the illness that plagues her.
As a part of her awareness campaign, Fighting Fit for Ewing’s, she climbed the 2,464 ft. Mount Errigal, the tallest mountain in Co. Donegal, in January, and has now conquered the treacherous Solheimajokull glacier in Iceland.
“You can’t confuse a glacier with a mountain. It’s not an achievable goal, like a summit, it’s something you experience,” Bradley told the Irish Journal. “You have guides telling you to follow their footsteps, like their actual footsteps, because the snow is so treacherous, it can just drop into nothing. That’s not an easy thing to do on crutches.”
Bradley brought a team of expert trekkers and climbers with her to the glacier, as well as acclaimed photographer and film maker Paul Doherty, who photographed and filmed their inspiring journey which is being made into a forthcoming documentary.
Uncertain about her future and whether or not she will be able to keep her leg, Bradley says that through her endeavors she hopes “to raise a little money for childhood cancer. I’m hoping to inspire others.”
“But mostly, I don’t know what’s round the corner for me,” she added. “Anything that comes my way, I have to grasp it.” ♦