THREE intrepid fundraisers scaled the heights in a 24-hour dash to raise hundreds of pounds for a schoolgirl who is battling a rare bone disorder.
Andrew Parkes, 35, Kev Powell, 37 and Kev’s 11-year-old son Bailey have just returned from completing the Three Peaks Challenge in which they tackled the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales.
The trio raised £1,500 to fund research into Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), a condition suffered by five-year-old Hartlepool youngster Jasmine Sanderson, the five-year-old daughter of Andrew’s cousin, Kelly, 33.
Former soldier Andrew, who lives in Weymouth, Kev, who lives in Ridlington Way, Hartlepool, and Bailey, covered 1,200 miles in their mad dash to scale all three mountains.
They set off from Hartlepool on Friday lunchtime and started the climb up the 4,409ft Ben Nevis at 8pm. Despite torrential rain they reached the top and were back at the foot of the mountain inside five hours.
“It absolutely bounced down all night,” said Kev, who also has a nine-month-old son called Zachery with partner Emily Brogden, 32.
“You couldn’t see a thing, it was that dark”, added Kev, who climbed Ben Nevis last year to raise money for Springwell Primary School, where Bailey was a pupil.
Then they were straight in the car, driven by Andrew Humphrey, 30, to head to the Lake District.
They set off from the bottom of the 3,209ft Scafell Pike at 7am and got to the top two hours and 50 minutes later.
Andrew then drove the trio to Mount Snowdon, in Wales, where it took them four hours to get up and down the mountain.
The friends were back home by 1am on Sunday to nurse their aching limbs.
Kev, who gave up smoking five months ago to help with the feat, said: “I can’t walk, but Bailey went straight back to school on Monday.”
Jasmine was just 19 months old when she was diagnosed with FOP, which affects just one in two million people.
The rare condition causes bones to grow over tendons, ligaments, joints and muscles and the growths can lock into place at any point.
The race is on to find £120,000 by February to continue to fund research.