Leanna’s record-breaking challenge for vitiligo

18-year old Leanna Shuttleworth is about to embark on a record-breaking challenge; one with hopes to raise over £40,000 for the Vitiligo Society.

The challenge, that kick starts next month, involves climbing two of the world’s highest mountains – Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse – back to back, in just 24 hours.

If successful, Leanna will become the youngest British female to summit Everest and to complete the Seven Summits, as well as become the first woman to summit two 8,000m peaks in under 24 hours, and the youngest female to summit Lhotse.

The climb

Leanne is scaling the two 8,000m peaks with her father – and this challenge would also make the father-daughter team one of the very few to ever have completed the Seven Summits challenge.

“It’s going to be very challenging physically and mentally, so I’ve been training hard to prepare – especially for the extremely low temperatures and high altitude, where we’ll need breathing apparatus.

“But I am feeling confident and I really hope that my climb will encourage other young women to get involved with the sport, which is so traditionally male.”

Buckinghamshire-born Leanne now lives in Dubai and is already the youngest British woman to successfully reach Antarctica’s highest peak. She also holds the record as the youngest British woman to scale the highest mountains on three continents; North America,South Americaand the Antarctic.

The cause

Speaking about reasons behind the climb, Leanna commented: “We have chosen to raise money for the Vitiligo Society as my mum is affected by the condition.”

“My mum first developed it in her 20s, when she was very tanned, so it had a huge impact on her confidence, making her give up swimming, as well as being difficult to protect in the sun, and hard to camouflage with make-up for going out.

“Now living the Middle East it’s been very difficult for her to stay out of the sun, both to stop it burning (those patches of skin have no protection from the sun) and to avoid a tan as that makes the patches much more obvious.

“The Vitiligo Society was a great help for her when she first developed it, giving her information, tips, contacts also with vitiligo, and keeping her up to date on current research.”


To support Leanna in her world record attempt, donations can be made at: www.justgiving.com/leannashuttleworth. Leanna will also be posting regular updates and photos on her blog.

Everyone here at Vitiligo Project is thrilled for Leanna and wishes her the best of luck. We’ll definitely be following the journey on her blog and are already looking forward to a catch up after the challenge.

If you’d like to contact Leanna, or would like to find out about corporate sponsorships – you can do so here.

Finally, we’re going to end with some inspirational words from Leanna: “Follow your dreams, make them happen, because they usually are possible, even if they don’t always seem it.”