Former Leighton-Linslade school mates tackle 3 Peaks Challenge for Motor Neurone Disease Association

In just 24 hours, the team of six will be ascending some of the largest mountains in Britain.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 12:11 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th September 2021, 12:26 pm

A group of childhood friends from Leighton-Linslade are tackling the mighty Three Peaks Challenge in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

In just 24 hours, a team of six former schoolmates will be ascending some of the largest mountains in Britain - Ben Nevis, Mount Snowdon, and Scafell Pike - as they aim to raise as much money as they can for the charity.

The courageous climbing crew are Mark Jeeves, Paul Wainer, Matt Koch, Daniel Tanner, Stephen Gillet, and David Askew, who have come together to support David, after his mother, Mary, 69, was diagnosed with the condition.

L-R: Matt Koch, Mark Jeeves, David Askew, Stephen Gillet, Paul Wainer. The team has raised over £3,000 so far.

David, 46, told the LBO: “My mum was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease last year, and it’s not a well known condition.

“There’s nothing that can really slow down or stop it, and there is no cure.

“She thinks that what we’re doing is great and we’ve all been training hard for the last few months; we’re looking forward to it.”

The challengers will start with Ben Nevis up in Scotland at 6am on Friday, September 17, with the team then heading on to Scafell Pike, England, before finishing their descent of Mount Snowdon, Wales, by 6am on Saturday.

The friends all went to Cedars Upper School together, with Mark, Paul, Matt and Stephen still living in Leighton-Linslade, while Daniel is based in Spain and David in London.

He added: “We’re all in our mid 40s now with our own families and the challenge itself is to challenge ourselves to do this. Can we all finish?

“It’s going to be a really good laugh - we’ll be confined to a mini bus together for two days(!) - and it’s something that we’ll look back on and be glad that we did.”

Motor neurone disease is an uncommon condition that mainly affects people in their 60s and 70s, but it can affect adults of all ages. It’s caused by a problem with cells in the brain, which stop working over time, and nerves called motor neurones.

Moving around, swallowing and breathing can become increasingly difficult, and treatments like a feeding tube or breathing air through a face mask may be needed.

To find out more about the charity, which conducts research and improves access to care, visit: https://www.mndassociation.org/To donate: https://www.justgiving.com/3peaksformnd