A KINTORE business man is to face the ultimate challenge of climbing Everest this month.
In preparation, Neil McDonald successfully climbed the Andean mountain, Aconcagua in January which he said was “much tougher” than he expected but said he was now much better prepared to face the highest mountain in the world. “I now feel ready to tackle Everest. It’s been two-and-a-half years in the planning and I’ve been training for all that time, so I can’t be more fit than that.”
Part of Neil’s fittening programme involved what he called his “Ben Ten” when, once-a-week, he would run up and down Bennachie ten times, carrying with him a 10kg day pack.
The aim of tackling the world’s most challenging mountains has been to raise money for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) in the hope of finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes which affects their nine-year-old daughter, Darcey.
Last year, Neil and wife Linzie held a ‘Bond’ themed ball for 350 guests which raised a massive £82,000.
This, together with the climbs, which go under the banner of ‘Climbing for a Cure’ has raised almost £109,000 for the charity to date. At the ball, The Fifth Business and NET (North East Telecommunications) each bid £11,000 to have their logo placed on top of Everest. NET are providing satellite communication at base camp to enable Neil to communicate with his family while on the climb.
Linzie said: “The trip will take 70 days. As a family, separation is a major factor. Thanks to NET, we will be able to stay in touch.
JDRF is dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. The reality of Darcey’s condition is that she must check her blood 12 times per day and self-inject four times. Linzie explained: “We programme her phone to help her towards her independence. She carries a lot of responsibility and although she is quite a sensible child, we have to remember that she is still a little girl.
To donate to the ‘Climbing for a Cure’ campaign in support of Neil’s challenge, go to www.climbingforacure.co.uk