06:00PM, Saturday 20 August 2016
A freelance medical consultant is appealing for sponsorship as he prepares to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise the profile of dementia in the UK.
Jack O’Reilly, of Laggan Road, Maidenhead, will take part in the organised charity event later this year in support of the Alzheimer’s Society.
Mr O’Reilly, who went to Burnham Grammar School, decided to climb the mountain last year.
“I was at my best friend’s on New Year’s Eve for a party,” he said.
“I was in the kitchen and his wife came in and said ‘go on an adventure with me’.
“She said let’s climb a mountain and I just said ‘yeah’ and signed up.”
The 27-year-old is now set to jet out to Tanzania in December to complete the challenge in time to see in 2017 at 5,895 metres above sea level.
He said: “We’ll be meeting at the airport on Boxing Day and flying to Tanzania, then starting the climb the next day.
“There’s four days climbing before New Year’s Eve and then setting out at midnight. We reach the summit on New Year’s day and will see the sun rise in 2017.”
The Windsor-born researcher has been fundraising and training throughout the year to raise £4,800 for his charity climb.
As well as the support of friends and family, he has also been preparing himself by completing Tough Mudder events and climbing mountains on a recent holiday in Vietnam.
The expedition will raise money for those who suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, which Mr O’Reilly feels is underfunded compared to other conditions.
He said: “When I was looking into it, about 850,000 people have Alzheimer’s in the UK but it only has a fifth of the funding as cancer research.
“On a general level I think it will get people to see that the Alzheimer’s Society does some amazing work. And it’s not just research either, they also run meetings where they get people with Alzheimer’s to come together to help stimulate their mind.”
The Alzheimer’s Society provides information and support to families, and funds medical and social research.
Visit www.justgiving. com/jack-kili to find out more about Jack’s campaign.