Our House Friend Ed Jackason shared with us which has been its figurative mountain:
The figurative mountain that I faced on the Easter of 2017 was monumental.

Having undergone an operation to repair a fracture dislocation of my C6/C7 vertebrae sustained whilst diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool, I lay, quadriplegic, on my back in ICU with only limited movement in my right arm.

The scale of my recovery was so immense that the experts had warned me that I would never walk again, let alone continue to play rugby professionally. My career as I knew it was extinguished and I now faced an uphill battle for my own independence.

However thanks to an amazing support network and a lot of hard work I was fortunate to go from strength to strength in the months after my accident. Flickers of movement in my big toe in the first weeks were emotional flashes of optimism and a reward for perseverance.

Recovery was now a firm possibility and using my arms in order to power a wheelchair became a priority. I just wanted to gain my independence back so as not to be a burden to anyone. But as I continued to improve, my goals became greater. I was being driven on by the ultimate motivation – the ability to walk – and beyond that, walk a mile.
I had spent much of my former life as a professional rugby player rehabilitating injuries, albeit minor in comparison. But these had given me an understanding of the mental and physical process required to return to fitness and with some amazing support I managed to achieve an unprecedented level of function following an injury of this severity.

The damage to the left side of my spinal cord means I now suffer from Brown-Sequard Syndrome, a neurological condition that results in weakness or paralysis of one side of the body and loss of sensation on the other. As a consequence, things like temperature regulation and bladder control are made difficult and, most noticeably, I walk with an acute limp.

However, I didn’t want this to stop me from plotting something big – 4 months on from my injury and after just a few steps without crutches I was already starting to dream of how far I could take things. I wanted to set an example for all of those others who were struggling for hope and this led me to the mountains.

The symbolism of a climbing a mountain is reflected in anyones struggle in life. It takes small steps and perseverance to achieve big dreams and for someone in my physical condition climbing any mountain was certainly dreaming big. First It was Snowdon on the 12 month mark, then mount Buet in the Alps before heading for Nepal to climb Mera Peak. I was benefiting massively both physically and mentally from these tests of endurance in some of the most beautiful places on Earth and following my last trip to Nepal I decided that I needed to share these experiences with others who would also benefit from them in the way I had.

The Millimetres 2 Mountains Foundation was born and a life of helping people through adventure has begun. To date through the Foundation we have raised over 100k for our partner charities and run fundraising trips in the UK, the Alps and Nepal, most recently summiting Gran Paradiso in Italy. I really believe in the power of the great outdoors and I hope to share this with people for years to come.