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Dr. Ghazala Ahmad-Mear - Surgeon for the NHS, Adventurer and only woman who walked with Robert Swan

Tough Girl - Dr. Ghazala Ahmad-Mear - Surgeon for the NHS, Adventurer and only woman who walked with Robert Swan on the South Pole Energy Challenge in January 2018.

Ghazala, was born in 1963, in Lahore, Pakistan, when still a baby, her family moved to London and she grew up in Twickenham. She has led an active life, being involved in rock-climbing, mountaineering, running, skiing and swimming, both in the UK and abroad. She loves the outdoors and now lives in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District.

She is married to the mountaineer Roger Mear, who in 1986, with Robert Swan and Gareth Wood, made the first unsupported walk to the South Pole with the expedition ‘In the Footsteps of Scott’. For this achievement, all three members were awarded the Queen’s Polar Medal.

In 1996, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had a year off work for chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Focusing on the positive aspects and being determined to be well, both physically and emotionally, helped her through that year. Having been a keen long distance runner, and never accepting that she would be anything other than recovered after her treatment, the following year with a 30% reduction in lung function, she ran the Sheffield Marathon.

The whole experience, despite the difficulties, was positive for Ghazala and it enabled her to develop resilience, determination, humility, compassion and patience. During this podcast we learn more about Ghazala, her life, the decisions she’s made to get to where she is and what she’s learned along the way.


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Show notes

  • Living in the beautiful peak district and working as a surgeon in Sheffield

  • Who is Ghazala and why she loves fitness

  • Becoming an environmentalist

  • Having 2 sons - 14 and 10 years old

  • Having to adjust her life after children

  • Loving to swim in the open air swimming pool

  • Growing up in Twickenham with 3 brothers

  • Joining the mountaineering club at University and getting into walking and rock climbing

  • Meeting her husband on the summit of the Matterhorn

  • Being at a crossroads in her life

  • Getting access to the mountains

  • Taking on big wall climbing - Angels Landing

  • Ice climbing in Scotland

  • Balancing life as a surgeon, with climbing and children

  • Keeping up running after her first child

  • Getting help with the children

  • Being 3 stone overweight after the birth of her first child and getting back into fitness

  • 1996 being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

  • Learning patience and having gratitude

  • Going on a healing course and working through personal issues

  • Deciding to love her tumour

  • Setting a new challenge after chemo

  • Completing the Sheffield Marathon and being able to move on from the illness

  • Building her confidence back up

  • A big road/climbing trip

  • The South Pole Energy Challenge - to walk the final 60 miles (the final degree)

  • 2041 Foundation

  • The significance of 2041

  • Step by step helping to raise awareness and raising funds for the challenge

  • Par helium and wanting to see it

  • Tips for fundraising and getting sponsorship

  • Being on the ice for 2.5 weeks - getting hypothermia and how she dealt with it

  • Taking the positives from a negative situation

  • Final words of advice

  • Why music plays a big part of her life


Social Media

Twitter - @ghazala_mear


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