A Melton man who raised more than £3,500 for charity by climbing one of the world’s biggest mountains said it was ‘the toughest challenge of his life’.
Jason Hall (41), who lives in Lilac Way, took on the challenge of Kilimanjaro for Georgie’s Gift, which was set up in memory of his friend’s 23-month-old daughter who died last year of meningitis.
And the thought of what the little girl went through kept him going during the hardest parts of the climb almost 20,000ft above sea level.
He said: “It felt like a lifetime achievement when we reached the summit because it was something I never ever thought I would do.
“It was the toughest challenge of my life.
“There were a lot of times when I could have given up.
“But I found that extra bit of strength to keep going.
“The pain I was feeling was nothing compared to what Georgie and her parents went through.”
Jason was part of an 18-strong team which made the climb. Also taking part was his friend, and Georgie’s father, Matt Hall, who unfortunately fell ill near the end of the challenge.
Matt had to abort the climb because of severe altitude sickness as the party prepared to head to the summit.
Jason said: “It got tougher when we lost Matt but once we wiped the tears away it gave us the motivation to get to the top.”
The team, who were mainly from Warwickshire, aimed to raise £60,000 in total for Georgie’s Gift but ended up with double that amount.
The charity raises awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, as well as advising families and supporting child sufferers who are left with a disability.
To sponsor Jason, who was a football coach with Melton Foxes and Melton Town, visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/itsforgeorgie