CHARITY: Fence fund-raiser treks to Mount Everest base camp

A fund-raiser reached for the stars to raise money for charity in memory of his dad.

AINT NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH: Gavin Roper surveys the highest peak ihn the world, Mount Everest
AINT NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH: Gavin Roper surveys the highest peak ihn the world, Mount Everest

Gavin Roper trekked 17,598ft to Mount Everest base camp in Nepal and raised £3,000 in the process.

The money will go to the Alzheimer’s Society and Nelson Manor Care Home.

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The two charities are close to Gavin’s heart because his father, Bruce, died from the condition and was cared for at the home.

Gavin said: “I did this climb to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Society. I never knew what the illness could do.

“My dad lost his speech, use of his legs and eventually could not breathe due to the illness. He was such a fit and strong man who taught karate to youngsters and adults.

“We were karate partners, we were really close and he was my partner when we passed our black belts together, we also ran our own karate clubs together, which were called Pendle Ropers Karate Club, around the Burnley area.”

Everest was not the first mountain Gavin, from Fence, has scaled.

Five years ago he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

“I climbed Everest to catch people’s attention and encourage them to read my story and increase the awareness of dementia.

“I want people to learn about dementia, to understand more, be aware and spot the signs earlier and get the treatment and support which is available.

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“The climb was hard but I completed it. I was away from my family for two weeks and being just after Christmas it seemed to hit me a little harder than I expected but I kept thinking I’ve got to complete the trek and I did just that.

“I thought, I’m on top of the world. The trek days were between eight and 12 hours each day and with temperatures as low as minus 14 it was certainly cold as well as tough physically and mentally.”

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