The partner of a Forest Town firefighter, killed in a tragic car-crash, is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with her daughter to raise money in his memory.
Darren Bryan, known as Rube, died in 2015 when a lorry-driver, who was using his mobile phone at the time, ploughed into his van.
Now Toni Hall, 50, is determined to raise awareness of the dangers of being distracted by using mobile phones while driving, so she aims to scale the world’s tallest free-standing mountain in Tanzania next year, along with daughter Mady, 20.
“Climbing Kilimanjaro was never on my list of goals,” said Toni. “I had seen other people do it, but it never appealed to me.
“However, after Darren was killed, all of our goals and dreams were gone. All I could see was an empty white space stretching out in front of me.
“I needed something to aim for, something that would challenge me and create a new perspective.”
Toni, who is a Forever Living business owner, will tackle the 4,900-metre climb in February to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity and also for Brake, a charity that supports families of road-collision victims.
“We want to raise money for those who have supported us and Darren’s family over the last two years,” she said. “Brake has wonderful people who have experienced loss through road deaths but who continue to have the strength to support others in their loss.”
Darren was a firefighter for the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue service and worked at the Mansfield and Retford stations. Since his death, Toni has worked with the prevention team at the service to highlight the dangers of driving while using mobile phones, and has given talks and presentations.
Mady said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support of all at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue, while The Fire Fighters Charity is an organisation he cared for and used to fundraise for. So it felt right to give back to the community that he was such an immense part of.”
To prepare for their challenge in Africa, Toni and Mady will climb Ben Nevis in Scotland and tackle the Sandstone Trail in Cheshire. If you would like to donate to their cause, log on to their JustGiving page, called Toni-and-Mady.