A Rossett man is joining ex-pro footballer John Hartson on Britain’s highest mountain to raise funds for the striker’s testicular cancer awareness charity.
Independent financial adviser Gerry Cummins is taking part in the BraveHart Ben Nevis Challenge near Fort William on Saturday, July 26, the fifth anniversary of John’s life-threatening cancer battle.
Gerry said: “As a football fan who had a spell living in John Hartson’s Swansea, my father-in-law died as a result of contracting cancer and so last year I decided to sign up for the Ben Nevis charity trek.
“I did not know anybody else doing the trek, however when I did the trek there were approximately 80 others taking part and I made a lot of new friends who I have maintained contact with since last year’s event.
“Having completed the event I decided to sign up for this year and four of my friends from Chester are joining me as I want to raise as much money as I can for the John Hartson Foundation.
“I hope to raise £1,500 and hope people will give generously for this great cause.”
Ex-Wales international Hartson first pledged to scale Britain’s highest peak as he recovered from testicular cancer, which had spread to his lungs and brain, and left him fighting for life in July 2009.
After his gruelling treatment, he stayed at the Highland home of wife Sarah’s parents, Katherine and James McManus, and was inspired by the view of the massive mountain.
On July 14, 2010, exactly a year later and on his daughter Lina’s second birthday, John made his dream come true.
Four years on and the 38-year-old is still working tirelessly to spread the word about the work of his charity, which raises awareness of testicular cancer and supports people with cancer and their families.
John said: “Standing on the summit of Ben Nevis feels like you’re on top of the world, and the first time I climbed it in July 2010 meant the world to me.
“As a professional footballer, I had enjoyed the fame and lifestyle that playing for top-flight clubs like Celtic and Arsenal and earning 51 caps for Wales brought me. I also had the warning signs of testicular cancer and I ignored them.
“I want people to know that everything I went through, and put my loved ones through, could have been avoided had I known more about the disease, and above all, the importance of catching it early.
“I’m also working hard to raise money to support others affected by cancer because I know first-hand the difference that support can make.”
Each walker has pledged to raise £500 to help the foundation carry on it's work raising awareness of testicular cancer and providing support to people with cancer and their families.
John said: “We hope this year’s BraveHart Ben Nevis Challenge will be bigger and better than ever and we’re aiming to take more than 100 people up the mountain with us.
“This is the fourth time I’ve done the challenge and while I’ve enjoyed every minute, it will be the last one – next year we’re looking for an exciting new adventure.”
If you would like to sponsor Gerry visit his fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/Gerard-Cummins2 or contact him by email at gerry@ cumminsifa.com.
Places are still available for the BraveHart Ben Nevis Challenge. Visit www.johnhartsonfoundation.co.uk or contact JHF fundraising manager Libby Emmerson on 07961 543254 for details.