A woman whose young nephew is suffering from leukaemia has raised over £8,000 for a Manchester charity by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Nicola Franklin, 31, made the ascent in February in aid of one-year-old Dylan, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia on New Year’s Eve 2014.
While Dylan has been receiving specialist treatment in Manchester, his parents – Nicola’s sister Lisa and her husband Ben – have been able to stay nearby thanks to Ronald McDonald House.
Nicola told MM: “The climb was so tough, but the thought of Dylan helped me get up. I was struggling at the back of the group, but however bad I was feeling I just knew I couldn’t stop.
“When I originally signed up for this last May, Dylan was out of hospital and in remission. Sadly he relapsed in August, but I had no idea that it would happen when I signed up.
“But I am really proud to have doubled my JustGiving target. I would love to do something else for the Ronald McDonald House Charity, and Dylan’s parents are keen to get involved.”
The Manchester House is one of 12 in the UK, and enables families with children in hospital to maintain a degree of normal family life without paying for accommodation.
Nicola held a number of fundraisers before tackling the tallest mountain in Africa, and was not surprised when it turned out to be her toughest challenge yet.
“Climbing is not something I had really done before,” she said.
“I had been on walking weekends and things like that, but this was completely different.
“The hardest thing was the altitude – the only way I can describe it is that you have got a banging headache for about four days straight. It’s like being a little bit drunk really!
“I struggled quite badly on summit night and was being sick for about four hours, which was quite difficult. We really struggled to breathe and our water packs froze.
“As soon as we started walking down, that was when we started feeling the pressure on our legs. It was hard work, but the further you go down the better you feel.”
Nicola’s current JustGiving total stands at £8,105, and can be found here.
Ronald McDonald House Charity said: “We depend on fundraisers and kind-hearted people like Nicola to continue to keep families together whilst their children are in Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and St Mary’s Neonatal Unit.
“It costs Ronald McDonald House Charities £25 a night to accommodate one family so the incredible sum Nicola raised means that we can offer a family a safe environment to sleep, cook and eat for almost a year.
“We cannot thank Nicola enough for her fantastic fundraising efforts and would like to say congratulations on reaching the peak!”