Highgate schoolboy to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in memory of sister

Bella and Ben on Ben's 10th birthday

Bella and Ben on Ben's 10th birthday - Credit: Archant

A brave and adventurous 14-year-old boy is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in memory of his sister who died recently

Bella at the seaside

Bella at the seaside - Credit: Archant

Highgate schoolboy Ben Northam was very close to his beautiful sister, Bella, who died aged 11.

He has already raised £1,800 for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, with a target of £8,000.

Bella died unexpectedly last Boxing Day.

She suffered from a severe form of Muscular Dystrophy, but she loved being outdoors.

Her family would visit the seaside and go on trips around the Lake District and Dorset, pushing Bella up hills in her wheelchair.

Remembering why he set out on the challenge, Ben said, “I thought I should do something Bella would have been proud of me doing, and she would have wanted to do herself.”

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Just 18 months apart, Ben grew up alongside Bella and their other siblings Olivia and Alexander in Crouch End.

“She always made me laugh, she always said funny things,” he said.

Ben is training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next month, flying out on October 13.

His father, Tim, will climb up alongside him.

The 14-year-old hopes to climb seven summits, the highest peak on each continent, before he’s 20.

His mother, Ellie, is very proud of her “single-minded” son.

She said: “They were so very close, it’s been extremely hard for him.”

Ellie described Bella as “very funny” and happy.

“As a family we pushed the boundaries of a child with complex needs.

“We camped and would take her up small hills.

“Bella loved school, loved going out and about. She loved ‘green camping’ – she called it green camping because we had a green tent. She loved her cats Coco and Ludo.”

“Noah’s Ark have been absolutely phenomenal, they’ve been a tremendous support to us,” she added.

To support Ben on his trip, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tim-Northam5