It is with much regret that 30-year-old Kim-Marie Spence from Kingston, Jamaica has had to leave the Kaspersky Lab Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition due to frost bite on her fingers.  The team left base camp at Patriot Hills at the weekend and started skiing the 900km to the South Pole on Sunday (22 November) but, following medical advice, Kim-Marie Spence has not joined them and is instead flying home to Jamaica.

Commenting on her departure from the team, Kim-Marie said “I have frostbite which goes to show what kind of place Antarctica is – it’s really tough and I have the blackened fingers to prove it.  The doctor here has said that I cannot continue unless I’m willing to loose my fingers but that’s not the sensible route at this point in time. I wish the best to my fellow explorers and fellow colleagues. I know that they will reach the South Pole. I also want to thank everyone for the support that I have gotten.  I will continue to follow this expedition.”

Eugene Kaspersky , CEO of Kaspersky Lab said: “We are so sad to hear about Kim-Marie’s departure from the team but realize that this difficult decision is none-the-less the right one.  I am very excited to be meeting the rest of the team at the South Pole at the end of December and I wish them every luck for their exciting journey.”

Kim Marie Spence sponsors in Jamaica responds:

Of course we are disappointed that Kim Marie will not complete this ground breaking journey. Knowing Kim Marie, she will transform this setback into a stepping stone and go on to do even more remarkable things in the future,” said Anthony Lawrence, Global Brand Manager for Grace Foods which sponsored Kim Marie’s participation in the Expedition through its brand Earth Chef.

“Kim-Marie by her very acceptance of this challenge has already proven to Jamaica and the world that she is a champion. We have journeyed with her through the preparation and know how elated she was to be on this trek. Even though she has not achieved all that she hoped for, the Nature Valley and WATA team at Wisynco laud her efforts and salute this remarkable Jamaican.”

“We are truly sorry to hear of Kim’s setback as we saw the commitment she gave to her preparation. That being said, we are glad that she’s safe and will continue to celebrate her achievements to date  says Wayne Miller the Head of Marketing of Digicel, Jamaica’s Bigger, Better Network.

Mr. Llewellyn Bailey, Assistant General Manager of Jamaica National which is one of the local sponsors for Kim Marie Spence said The Society regrets that she had to leave the team, however her health is a priority despite her ambitions to make it to the South Pole.  We followed Kim from her training in Norway and know how hard she worked to make the team.  We look forward to welcoming her home.

I am disappointed as Kim worked very hard and it took a lot of mental and physical preparation to train for this expedition, and now she has to come home because of frostbite. I can’t imagine how she feels, but we look forward to welcoming her back home says her trainer Juliet Cuthbert’s of Cuthbert’s Gym.

Yolan Zanders, PR Agent of Zanders Harrison & Associates says I am disappointed that Kim did not get to complete the journey to the South Pole but she has already proven so much for the past year, through her dedication to the mental and physical preparation for this expedition and I know that she has come from this journey with many life lessons.  I look forward to welcoming her home and I know Jamaica does the same.