Kymmy Hinton at Western Front CrossFit Gym.  Kymmy is climbing Mt Everest in April 2018 to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation.  Kymmy wears a Darth Vader mask as part of her fund raising.
Kymmy Hinton at Western Front CrossFit Gym. Kymmy is climbing Mt Everest in April 2018 to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation. Kymmy wears a Darth Vader mask as part of her fund raising. Franca Tigani

Why Ipswich's 'Darth Vader' will climb Mt Everest

YOU might have seen her running up and down the stairs of the Ipswich water tower or doing push ups behind the counter of a pharmacy.

It's all part of training as this Ipswich resident prepares to embark on a massive adventure for a noble cause.

Pharmacist Kymmy Hinton will leave Australia on April 12 to trek to Mt Everest Base Camp with the Leukaemia Foundation.

As a long-term fundraiser for the Foundation, the Emerald Hill resident was invited on the expedition and has already raised more than $4000.

Kymmy's endless fundraising efforts, which include a series of selfies taken at Ipswich's various train stations while wearing a Darth Vader mask, are motivated by loss and determination.

In 2002, her fiancee tragically died from Leukaemia at age 19.

Kymmy has had her own bloody battles; she has a condition called qualitative platelet defect, a condition marked by increased bleeding due to a lack of platelets.

She was admitted to hospital in 2006 after doctors detected a mild bleed on her brain.

"I was told I would never walk properly again," Kymmy said.

 

Kymmy Hinton at Western Front CrossFit Gym.  Kymmy is climbing Mt Everest in April 2018 to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation.  Kymmy wears a Darth Vader mask as part of her fund raising.
Kymmy Hinton at Western Front CrossFit Gym. Kymmy is climbing Mt Everest in April 2018 to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation. Kymmy wears a Darth Vader mask as part of her fund raising. Franca Tigani

 

"While I was in hospital learning to swallow, speak and ultimately walk again, I was thinking that these doctors don't know me or what I am capable of.

"I vowed to myself that if I ever got out of hospital, I would play football again, climb Mt Everest and cross the Antarctic peninsula just to prove them wrong."

Kymmy has never done anything like this before and while she's confident her body will hold up, her family are a bit apprehensive about the trip.

 

 

"Because I am ADHD, my mum is worried I will lose my passport and not be allowed back into the country.

Others are worried Kymmy will fall down crevasse never to be seen again, or be separated from the group after wandering off to take a 'Darth' selfie a be lost to the mountain.

"I have promised not to go anywhere on my own," Kymmy quipped.

Keep up with Kymmy's journey and fundraising efforts on Twitter, using the hashtags #sponsordarth #teamdarth #letskillbloodcancer and #mteverestchallenge.

Support Kymmy, aka Darth, on the Leukaemia Foundation website or here

Why the Darth Mask?

THE nickname started in high school and has stuck. Kymmy loves Star Wars, a passion she shared with the fiancee she lost to cancer.

Kymmy's lungs also sometimes sound like Darth Vader, she says. 

"I was a member of the school cross country and athletics teams and it was a standard joke that the worse my lungs sounded the better I was running," she said. 

"It will certainly be interesting to see how the lungs go up on Everest. They certainly sounded very 'darthy' late last year when I picked up pneumonia".