Fifteen individuals set out last month to begin their journey to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro after setting a goal of $250 thousand, with a vast portion of the money received going straight back to the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Disease.

Despite the money being raised for a UNC program, the majority of the climbers are not in any way connected to the university. The team decided on donating the earnings to the IGHID because of their “commitment to women’s health, clean water, HIV treatment, and burn care in Africa.” The team is made up of six teams of parents and their kids and three friends from across the U.S. and the U.K.

The idea was born after Chapel Hill resident, Eugene Flood, took his friend, Scott Krase, and Scott’s son Jackson to a football game at UNC back in early 2012. There, they had the opportunity to speak with IGHID director, Dr. Myron Cohen, who told them about the work he was doing to prevent HIV to become non-contagious. The three were inspired greatly by Dr. Cohen’s mission and began talks of ways to raise money to contribute to such a goal, and shortly after began their training.

The climbing team kept the institute up-to-date with their progress throughout their trek up the mountain until the end of their journey, which happened last Thursday. The team is hopeful that they have inspired others to work for benefiting global health.