A father and daughter from Oswestry, have completed a gruelling Tanzanian charity trek in memory of an ‘inspirational’ family friend.
Stuart Royce, 51, took on a six-day trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro last month alongside his 26-year-old daughter Jessica.
They decided to do the challenge in memory of their friend Brian Worrall, who died of bladder cancer in 2015, and to raise money for The Severn Hospice in Shrewsbury, as well as the charity Fight Bladder Cancer.
Mr Royce said: “Brian was a very inspirational person and a silver medal Paralympian so this seemed a very fitting challenge for someone whose personality was as big as this mountain.
“I have always been a very outdoor person and I have always been into fitness, so I tried to maintain a good level of fitness and get out on some extra walks because I didn’t want to struggle any more than I needed to.
“It was what I expected – and probably a bit harder. I did my research and had an idea about the terrain, but it was six days of full-on trekking and camping and the altitude definitely gets to you.
“Jessica did really well – she has not done a lot of mountain walking and because she lives in London she was having to go to the gym to do some cardio work, but she did very well.
“Although this climb was a huge physical effort for the both of us, we were spurred on by the thought of Brian and all the good people who had supported us and generously donated to such a worthy charity.”
The challenge has raised more than £5,000 so far, which includes gift aid, and will be divided between the two charities.
Mr Royce, who works at the Orthopaedic Hospital, added: “We hadn’t set a target as such because we were hoping for whatever we could raise – and it has been amazing.”
He added his wife Gillian, who works at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, and Brian Worrall’s widow Anne have also helped to raise funds through car-boot sales and other charity events.
Mr Worrall, who lived in Oswestry, sustained a spinal injury while serving in the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) in Belize in 1982 which ended his career and left him partially paralysed, having to adapt to living in a wheelchair.
He became heavily involved in wheelchair sports and swam for GB in the Seoul Paralympics in 1988, winning a silver medal, before coaching GB wheelchair rugby team and becoming European development officer for wheelchair rugby.
He also took the GB team to the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996.
Anyone who would like to donate can do so via http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ giving/ and searching for ‘Jessica Royce’.