An amputee and her friend have climbed one of Poland’s highest mountains to raise funds for children with cancer

Ewa Harapin, who lost her leg to cancer as a child, and her friend Klaudia Knieja scaled Szpiglasowy Wierch in the Tatra Mountains. The pair began their expedition at Palenica Białczańska, covering 9.3 km before reaching a shelter at Morskie Oko.

On the second day they reached the 2,172-metre peak before returning to the shelter. Delighted Ewa posted on social media: “My dears, emotions are slowing down, still I can’t believe what I did.

Ewa Harapin and Klaudia Knieja-Amputee Women
Ewa Harapin and Klaudia Knieja Photo ©

“The trail wasn’t easy, but with the support I had there was no failure. I feel sore and tired so far.

Ewa Harapin and Klaudia Knieja-Amputee Girls
Ewa Harapin and Klaudia Knieja Photo ©

“But I know that children from Cape of Hope (Przylądek Nadziei) have to face a much harder challenge on a daily basis.”

The 23-year-old added: “Klaudia is a mountain lover and I have never been to the mountains but I have always dreamed of going.

“We wanted our initiative to bring something good for others and this is how the project was created. We do this for children with cancer.

Ewa Harapin-Amputee
Ewa Harapin

“Together with the campaign of climbing Szpiglasowy Wierch, we want to raise money for sensory carts, due to the pandemic, children cannot use these stationary rooms and they are very important in their therapy.

“This is where children most often open up.”

The two friends first met through the ‘To Rescue Children with Cancer’ foundation where they decided to take on the challenge and raise money for sensory mobile carts which include a range of stimuli, auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory and kinaesthetic stimulation that influence a child’s development.

Ewa Harapin
Ewa Harapin

Ewa developed a malignant bone tumour when she was 12 which she resulted in her having her leg amputated.

She said: “It wasn’t until I met my current boyfriend that everything changed.

“It turned out that my disability does not define me at all.

“I have learned to live a normal life boldly and have come a long way to self-acceptance.”

Ewa Harapin
Ewa Harapin

After starting training at a gym she was encouraged to lift weights, and her trainer entered her into the Polish championships where she finished third.

Later she went on to win an international competition for disabled athletes and now is doing deadlifts as well as bench presses.