Preston man climbs Mount Kilimanjaro for Alder Hey Children's Hospital
By Lucy Milburn
Daniel McKay, from Preston, decided to tick Africa’s highest peak off his bucket list and funded the solo expedition out of his own pocket.
After hearing about the impressive work achieved by Alder Hey, the 33-year-old was inspired to raise money for the Liverpool-based charity which funds life-saving equipment and research to support both patients at the hospital and families across the UK. By reaching out to his friends, family and the general public in Preston, Daniel has raised more than Â£1,500 in sponsorship and has almost reached his target of Â£2,000.
He said: “After my dad, David, passed away in April 2016, aged 52, I wanted to challenge myself whilst raising money at the same time.“I’ve always wanted to push myself further, ever since running the London marathon in 2007. I raised almost Â£1000 for VICTA - a charity for visually impaired kids.”
After joining the army at the age of 20, Daniel served as an infantry soldier in the airborne parachute regiment for nine years. Following his first tour in Iraq, he went on to complete three tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq in 2009, 2011 and 2013. During almost a decade of service, he also served in many other countries, including Pakistan and Oman.
However, Daniel didn’t see the army as a life-long career and he returned to civilian life in 2014. He now drives diggers in the Lancashire area.Daniel trained using a combination of cycling, running and swimming but the experience proved to be more of a mental challenge than a physical one.
He said: “Climbing the mountain took six days in total and it was definitely challenging as I reached higher altitudes. I went on my own but I soon met other like-minded people, including two climbers from Ireland.“Overall, I really enjoyed it.”This impressive achievement is just the beginning for the Preston resident who is already planning his next challenge. He is flying to Russia next year to attempt Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe.
He added: “I am determined to climb Mount Everest by the time I’m 40.“That’s still seven years away but I’d like to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice at Bamber Bridge.”To make a donation visit http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/danny-mckay3