David Platten and Paul Terry will be lacing up their walking boots and tackling all 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) of the tallest mountain in Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro.
They are raising funds on behalf of their good friend’s son, Harry, who tragically passed away in 2016 just 8 days after his 6th birthday. Harry was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in 2013 at only 2 years of age. Following the diagnosis, he bravely underwent over three years of treatment before entering into remission.
In 2016 he developed Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) which cruelly progressed and developed into Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), with a Stem Cell Transplant offering the only hope. He fought like a lion but sadly reacted to the stem cell transplant unfavourably and tragically passed away on 21st September 2016.
The pair were originally scheduled to complete the challenge in 2020 but Covid unfortunately stepped in the way and caused the pair to postpone. They completed the Trailwalker 24hour 100k walk across the South Downs 10 years ago, but Kilimanjaro will provide a huge challenge for the team who both turned 50 this year.
They have set themselves an initial fundraising target of £3,000 to help raise funds for the charity’s pioneering Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) Network.
David commented: “We are both a little nervous about the altitude sickness being a potential issue, but the excitement of the challenge and getting to the summit far outweighs any other issues.”
“Harry was such a happy, loving and brave little boy who never complained about his illness. No one should have to go through what that little boy endured.”
“Our training is going well, we are both active anyway and we are meeting up once a week to do some walking up and down hills together, to get the legs, feet and lungs “Kilimanjaro-ready”.
“The only thing we can’t train for is the altitude. As beautiful and challenging as the South Downs are, they are not particularly high. I am off to the French Alps for a summer holiday with my son in August, and I am hoping to drag him up a couple of 3,000m+ mountains to try and get some altitude walking in.
Paul added: “David and I have known each other since we were 11 from our school days and so been friends for 39 years. Matt is one of our very closest friends and we are both really proud to be able to support him and his family remembering Little Harry and also support and raise awareness and much needed funds for Cure Leukaemia.”
How funds raised for Cure Leukaemia help save lives