80-year-old Julius Grodski climbs the tallest mountain in Africa in support of The Princess Margaret

16/12/2019
By Maria Georgiou

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This past September, at the age of 80, Julius Grodski, P.Eng., Ph.D., a retired research scientist, completed his dual goal of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, while simultaneously raising over $5,000 for prostate cancer research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. 

Twenty years ago, Julius was diagnosed with prostate cancer at The Princess Margaret and now continues with his regular check ups there. To show appreciation and support for the Cancer Centre, he decided to dedicate his climb and raise funds for world-renowned prostate cancer research. 

“I had a good experience with The Princess Margaret, I’m happy with the support I received from my doctors and wanted to support their research,” says Julius. “I’m lucky and delighted that my friends were kind enough to donate to my cause. My thanks go out to them.”

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and the world’s highest free-standing mountain with a peak at 5,895 metres. Its 65 per cent climbing success rate did not stop Julius and his efforts. He trained for over half a year and very intensely for the last two months, and was ready to embark on his biggest feat yet, an eight day, 48 km adventure on the “Roof of Africa.”

After one week of grueling physical effort and difficulties associated with the low oxygen content at high altitude, Julius and his 70 year-old climbing partner, Walter Karolkiewicz, topped the mountain. 

“I have been interested in climbing since I was a teenager, but I’ve never climbed a mountain that high,” says Julius. “The encouragement from my Tanzanian, ‘“Kili”’ guides and my obligations to my friends who supported my Princess Margaret initiative back home, carried me through the difficult times on the mountain.”

Julius is keeping his donation page open to anyone who would like to donate to the cause.