Liza Badham has scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, even if she had to make part of the trip back down on a stretcher.

The Ottawa grandmother and five others, styling themselves the Kilimanjaro Grannies, decided to climb Africa’s highest peak to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and money for African grandmothers left caring for their orphaned grandchildren.

Badham and the other grannies successfully climbed the mountain in October 2007, and raised $78.336.50 in the process, but on the trip back down, she wrenched her knee.

But she made a full recovery, and on Dec. 1, the grannies will launch their book, Kilimanjaro: A Purposeful Journey, at the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library to mark World AIDS Day.

Badham says the process of putting everyone’s memories and photos together was challenging.
“I think we did pretty well considering we’re all very different personalities and come from different walks of life.

“I think the saving grace is that we each get our own chapter. If we had tried to integrate everything into one mass I don’t think it would have worked at all.”

The book’s proceeds are being directed to the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and the Snowy Owl AIDS Foundation.