A MANSFIELD Woodhouse mum whose son once battled meningitis is preparing for a gruelling trek up Africa’s highest mountain to raise cash to help research the condition.
Intrepid Joanne Allen (45), of Church Hill, is busy training for a six-day climb up the 19,340ft Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise funds for The Meningitis Trust and Cancer Research UK.
Joanne will brave rainforest, grasslands, snow fields and glaciers as part of the 100km expedition which she will be attempting from 5th September.
“My son Ross, who is now 21, was diagnosed with meningitis when he was 18 months old but I didn’t have a clue what it was at the time, “ said Joanne.
“But he made a full recovery and ever since I have been championing the cause of The Meningitis Trust and I thought now was the time to raise some money for them.”
Joanne, who has climbed Mount Snowdon in Wales and Ben Nevis in Scotland as part of her punishing training schedule, is hoping to raise £6,000 for the charities.
“I’m hoping to raise £3,000 for each charity and I am 95 per cent there but I’d still love people to make donations to help,” added Joanne.
“I am determined to get to the top, sometimes people fail because they have that mindset and there are other factors such as hypothermia and altitude sickness which effect every climber in different ways.
“My son and daughter think I’m absolutely crazy but are very proud and have been very supportive.”
Joanne is also taking two fundraising events to help raise cash for the two charities later this month.
A charity day is being held at The Star pub in Mansfield Woodhouse on 28th August.
The event will include a barbecue, bouncy castle, stocks, tombola, cakes, Kilimanjaro-themed cocktails and a raffle followed by a live band in the evening.
Joanne and work colleagues will also be doing a fundraising pub crawl around Ilkeston on 2nd September to drum up extra support for the big climb.
“Every gesture will be gratefully appreciated and company names will be mentioned in all the advertising and also included on the product, so everybody will know that you’ve donated a prize,” added Joanne.
To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/Joanne-Allen-MeningitisTrust.