When Dave Billington was recovering from cancer of the right vocal chord two years ago, he wanted to challenge himself and acknowledge the fact that he had survived when others met in treatment had not been so lucky.
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Dave, also known as Charlie, set himself the task of climbing all of the 214 summits described by Alfred Wainwright in his Guides to the Lakeland Fells in order to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice and Wasdale Mountain Rescue.
He said: “Whilst my cancer left me with a voice problem I was happy not to have to dwell on the alternative outcome, thanks to the ENT Department of the Royal Preston Hospital. I undertook the project to celebrate life, and had some idea of its difficulty as I had done it before, albeit over a period of 50 years. I now set myself a time limit of one year and determined that I would keep a photographic record of myself on every summit, with Rossett Pike being the first in April 2016.
“Medical and other commitments meant that I had to revise my deadline, my next goal being my 70th birthday last November, but a recurrence of the cancer forced me to take another break. After further operations I finally completed my mission in less than two years by climbing High Rigg with the Burton Fellwalkers. Overall the challenge took 58 separate days, mainly from Preston, with up to 10 new Wainwrights and 20 miles covered in any single day, often in appalling conditions.”
Dave, of Ashton, who is also secretary of the Preston Grammar School Association, has so far raised more than £500 for both his charities.
He added: “When I was a young fell walker our school camp was in Nether Wasdale, and I was always reassured by the hidden presence of the local mountain rescue team, whose volunteers over the years have brought to safety several people I know. I also wished to recognise St Catherine’s Hospice for its inspirational work. I give my heartfelt thanks to all my supporters and those who have already contributed.”
To make a donation visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/DavidsWainwrightChallenge or contact Dave on 01772 497047 or 07950 142907.