Trekking for a Cause: Conquering the Sahara Desert

Sahara Challenge
In February Toby, Lou, Greten, and Fran embarked on a remarkable journey across the Sahara Desert as part of the Oracle Cancer Trust Sahara Challenge. 

Their mission was not only to test their physical endurance but also to raise funds for the Head and Neck cancer community, a cause close to their hearts. Walking 100 km across the desert landscape, they not only conquered the terrain but also raised over £10,000 collectively, a testament to their dedication and the generosity of their supporters. 

For Greten, the decision to participate was deeply personal. “It was about raising money for a cause which had affected a number of my friends and acquaintances,” she stated. The destination was secondary; what mattered most was contributing to the RACE to overcome the Head and Neck cancer crisis, by investing into research, raise awareness, foster collaboration and improving the patient experience.   

Greten, accustomed to long walks, tackled the training regimen with determination, gradually extending her walks to prepare for the desert challenge. Her highlights included the vastness of the desert, the camaraderie of fellow walkers, and the breathtaking landscapes that unfolded before them. 

Lou, motivated by her brother Toby’s experience with throat cancer, found her own reasons to join the trek. “Personal highlights were completing things I personally found challenging,” she shared. From navigating the shifting sands of towering dunes to camping under the starlit sky at an oasis, every moment was a triumph over adversity. Lou’s experience was enriched by the beauty of the desert and the profound sense of accomplishment that came with each step. 

Throughout their journey, Fran, Toby, Lou, and Greten were supported by a team of guides who ensured their safety and well-being. The regular, well-cooked meals provided much-needed sustenance, while the presence of camels added an element of charm to their adventure. The vibrant city of Marrakech provided a stark contrast to the desert solitude, offering a glimpse into the rich culture of Morocco. 

Reflecting on their experience, Lou expressed her enthusiasm for future treks. “I’d recommend this trek and definitely do another similar trek,” she remarked. The Oracle Cancer Trust Sahara Challenge not only tested their physical limits but also forged lasting memories and friendships. As they crossed the finish line, Toby, Lou, Greten, and Fran emerged victorious, knowing that their efforts had made a meaningful impact on the Head and Neck cancer community. 

Fancy an adventure?  

Embark on an unforgettable journey with #TeamOracle as we trek through the breathtaking Annapurna region to raise funds for Oracle Cancer Trust. This challenging adventure offers unparalleled views of the majestic Himalayas, reaching altitudes of up to 4500 meters. Traverse ancient routes restored to their former glory, winding through picturesque villages, lush rice fields, and vibrant rhododendron forests. Along the way, immerse yourself in Nepalese culture, savouring delicious meals prepared by our teahouse hosts and gaining insight into local life.  

By taking on a challenge as part of #TeamOracle you will help us support key programmes and raise awareness of Head and Neck cancer across the UK. Our vision is to ensure that everyone has the best chance of surviving Head and Neck cancer, but we can’t do this without you! Oracle Mardi Himal Summit Challenge 

07 – 16 November 2025  

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Support the race against Head and Neck cancer today!

Oracle Cancer Trust’s mission is to improve Head and Neck Cancer patient quality of life and outcomes in the UK. Donate Now

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Oracle Cancer Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1142037), and in Scotland (SC052790).

Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales (7125497). Registered address: 80 Coombe Road, New Malden KT3 4QS.

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