A CLOSE friend of campaigning Examiner journalist Adrian Sudbury is appealing for people to support a gruelling fundraising climb being undertaken in his memory
Ben Hunter, 27, is planning to climb Mont Blanc – the highest mountain in Europe and the 11th highest in the world.
The climb to the summit of the 16,000ft mountain will raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust, a charity close to the heart of Adrian, who died of leukaemia on August 20 aged just 27.
Ben was one of Adrian’s best friends and grew up with him in Pinxton, Nottinghamshire.
He started planning the climb while Adrian was ill, as a way of cheering him up, but now, he will complete the challenge in June next year as a way of paying tribute to his friend.
He said: “I always felt lucky to have a friend like Adie and I am going to miss him so much. I have about 25 years of great memories which I am grateful for. But there is also the sadness of losing such an incredible person. Now, the climb has become my focus and is helping me stay positive through this sad time.”
Adrian was diagnosed with two kinds of leukaemia in November 2006, when he was just 25.
He underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, which was thought to be successful.
In May, he was told that the leukaemia had returned and he had just months to live.
Adrian spent that time working on his Sign Up For Sudders campaign, raising awareness of the need for more bone marrow donors.
Ben said: “Throughout his illness he had to deal with some major blows and, after each one, he just became more determined to create something positive out of it all.
“With all the extra donors who are going to join the register due to Adie’s remarkable campaign, more funds will also be needed to support the influx. But even if you are unable to join the register, or can’t donate any money just spread the word and help to dispel the myths about bone marrow donation.”
Ben intends to pay for the climb himself, to make sure even more cash goes to the Anthony Nolan Trust. So far, he has collected more than £1,880 but has a target of at least £3,000.
The climb poses a huge challenge for Ben.
He said: “I have done long treks before but this will be my first attempt at mountaineering. I will drive down to Chamonix, get a couple days training in alpine climbing then set-off for the summit.
Mont Blanc can be without problems in good weather but it becomes a nightmare in high wind, fog and storms. There’s an accumulation of risks linked with altitude, changing weather, cold conditions and tiredness.
Ben said: “30% of mountaineers returning to the mountain refuge are injured and there’s only a 40% success rate.”
Sponsor Ben online by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/benhunter.For more information on Adrian’s campaign, visit: http://baldyblog. freshblogs.co.uk http://www.justgiving.com/benhunter.
For more information on Adrian’s campaign, visit: http://baldyblog. freshblogs.co.uk