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Cancer-survivor Jon takes on challenge of ‘climbing’ Everest in his back garden to raise thousands for carers

PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 May 2020

Jon Siddall during his challenge to 'climb Everest' in his West Hampstead garden. Picture: Nicki Siddall

Jon Siddall during his challenge to 'climb Everest' in his West Hampstead garden. Picture: Nicki Siddall

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A West Hampstead cancer-survivor has been climbing up and down a ladder in his garden in an attempt to reach an equivalent height to the summit of Mount Everest.

Jon Siddall during his challenge to 'climb Everest' in his West Hampstead garden. Picture: Philip WolmuthJon Siddall during his challenge to 'climb Everest' in his West Hampstead garden. Picture: Philip Wolmuth

Jon Siddall’s innovative fundraising plan comes just a month after doctors at the Royal Free Hospital gave him the all-clear after more than a year of cancer treatment.

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore, charities professional Jon, 65, decided now was the time to pick up where he had left off in 2018, when his cancer diagnosis put paid to his plans to run the London Marathon.

Ably supported by his wife Nikki, former Hampstead Parish Church warden Jon has smashed his initial £7,500 target.

His plan was to complete the challenge, and celebrate at the – imagined – Himalayan summit in time to toast VE Day at 3pm on May 8.

He told this newspaper: “The context to this is I am profoundly grateful for the care I myself have had, and it’s time for me to give back.

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“There’s a lot of this stuff going around and I thought why not do something that’s positive. I’ve of course benefitted from the wonderful treatment at the Royal Free, but wanted to highlight the social care system too.

“It would be great to get carers in the limelight.”

He said he had also inspired by a friend’s suffering with dementia – which he said “needs the research as much as anything” now.

Over the five-day challenge, Jon has been making 500 climbs a day of a 20 foot ladder.

Accounting for the angle of the ladder propped up in his back garden, this will take him all the way to 29,029 feet.

So far Jon has raised more than £9,500, putting him well on the way to his amended £15,000 target.

He said: “It’s an opportunity on VE Day to remind the generation who fought that we can take the baton on from them and from the likes of Captain Tom.”

To support Jon’s fundraising for The Care Workers Charity, Community Integrated Care, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Carers UK and Age UK, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JonSiddall


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