Burnley man’s Everest climb in memory of his father

CLIMB ANY MOUNTAIN: Gavin Roper
CLIMB ANY MOUNTAIN: Gavin Roper

A BURNLEY man is set to reach for the stars when he climbs the world’s highest peak for a charity close to his heart.

Gavin Roper is preparing to climb the 17,598ft. to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal in memory of his father Bruce who died in April 2011.

He will be attempting the sky high challenge to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society, for which he is a volunteer.

Gavin said: “I never knew what the illness could do.

“My dad lost his speech, use of his legs and eventually could not breathe.

“He was such a fit and strong man who taught karate to youngsters and adults. We were karate partners when we passed our black belts, and we ran Pendle Ropers Karate Club together.

“For the last three months of his life dad was in bed constantly and, knowing him, that would have destroyed him inside as he was such a busy and active man.”

Gavin, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa five years ago, has already raised around £3,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society and Nelson Manor Care Home residents’ fund.

He added: “I hope that by climbing Everest I will catch people’s attention and encourage them to read my story and increase their awareness of dementia.

“I want people to learn about dementia, to understand more, be aware and spot the signs earlier.”

Gavin’s website www.sponsorgav.org was put together by local IT company ThunderTec. Print 4 Less of Burnley has also created a banner that he will be taking to Nepal.