TWO Redditch brothers have raised more than £4,000 for the Kidney Patient Association after braving freezing conditions and avalanches during a fund-raising trek in the Himalayas.
Steve’s mother-in-law Valerie Broome died of kidney disease three years ago, spurring the Church Hill resident on a mission to help other sufferers.
The duo set themselves the target of scaling the heights in the Annapurna massif with every penny raised going to the caring charity.
But with temperatures plunging to -40 degrees C and at altitudes up to 7,000metres, the lads found themselves up against it.
“We managed to get there and dodged a few avalanches and got back in one piece,” said Steve, a landscape gardener.
“The weather really turned bad and we had to get back pretty much in one go, spending four days straight coming down,” he said.
“We went right by base camp to get clear of Annapurna and were lucky as they shut the mountain straight after and were helicoptering people out.”
However the experience has brought in a bumper sum for kidney patients.
“We can’t thank people enough – all round Church Hill and Redditch we have had lots of support – the hairdressers, Cutting Edge, held a clairvoyant evening and that alone raised £1,000 for us.”
Few people realise that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham has a satellite dialysis unit here in Redditch, one of 11 around the Midlands.
“It’s an amazing place and you’d never think it but it’s right here on an industrial estate in Moons Moat,” said Steve.
The Kidney Patient Association has a base at the QE providing help and support to kidney patients, their carers and family.
“When someone like Steve comes out of the blue and says he wants to give something back, that’s a tremendous thing to do,” said Nick Flint from the QE-based Kidney Patient Association.
“Here we are all renal patients – I was lucky enough to have a transplant – and we are all volunteers so every penny raised goes to help our patients.”