James Walker is preparing to scatter his grandfather’s ashes at a 19,000ft height.
The charity trekker is going on his first charity expedition in order to raise money for people suffering with Alzheimer’s. The cause is close to his heart after his grandfather was diagnosed with the disease in 2009.
The 33-year-old personal trainer will go to Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, where he could experience temperatures as low as -20 C.
He said: “My grandad got excited about it as he liked travelling but he had difficulties and stopped eating so I’d tell him he’d have to eat if he wanted to come with me.
“He was a lovely man who would do anything for me and my brother.”
Don Mortimer, James’ grandfather, died in January 2010 at the age of 87. He was a Second World War veteran. Some of his ashes are being taken on the trek, whilst others have been scattered at Lawnswood Cemetery.
James said: “I didn’t realise how much Alzheimer’s affects people, but when you actually see it happening it is pretty horrific. Sometimes I’d go to see him and he’d know exactly who I was and then the next time he would think I was a doctor. It is horrific seeing someone you love going through that.”
To complete the trek, James needs to raise a minimum of £3,800 for the Alzheimer’s Society. He has already raised £3,300.
James and the other trekkers will take five and a half days to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
James added: “It is something I’m gearing up to, I’m a massive wimp but I think I will be crying anyway. It is a massive achievement and it’s going to be hard work getting there.”
He has raised money through sponsored fitness classes and he has now arranged a charity Zumba class at 11am on January 29 at Fitness First, in Redcote Lane, Kirkstall. Tickets are £5 and are available from the gym or by contacting James.
To donate or for information visit www.justgiving.com/James-Walker3, call 07880 545001 or email: email@example.com.