A SURVIVOR of the Boxing Day tsunami is embarking on what may be her toughest challenge yet.
Sarah Cumming, 26, from Ickenham, was on Phi Phi Island, Thailand, when the devastating tidal wave struck in 2005, and nearly died when her flat was engulfed by water.
She now plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa in October, and has set herself a target of raising more than £3,500 for the Mental Health Foundation.
Recalling the moment the tidal wave hit, she said: "My whole room crashed around me. I was trapped under water and had no way out.
"For a moment I even accepted I was dead but I kept fighting. Going through my head was the fact that I did not want to die on Boxing Day.
"When I got my head above water all I could see was more water and the tops of trees.
"I was living out there learning to dive, and the rescue training must have kicked in." Three-and-a-half years on, Sarah is training to be a counsellor, and is determined to raise money for a cause which is close to her heart.
She still thinks about the events - which claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people - and has had to deal with post traumatic stress sydrome and a long-term ankle injury.
"My experience has led me to embark on this challenge of a lifetime. I still feel a bond with the island, and went back there 18 months after the tsunami happened.
"I'm hoping my ankle will be strong enough to get me to the top."
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest peak at 5,891m.
To donate to Sarah's challenge visit www.justgiving.com/sarahcumming