Kelbrook man’s Himalayan trek raises £36,000 in memory of wife

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A KELBROOK man has raised an incredible £36,000 for a cancer care centre by embarking on a Himalayan trek in memory of his wife.

Keith Schofield, of Harden Road, Kelbrook, spent a year preparing for the trek in India with 19 other fund-raisers.

His wife Brenda was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia cancer in 2003. She was treated at the Yorkshire Cancer Centre, at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, but passed away last September.

Keith said: “I undertook this challenge as a personal commitment to Yorkshire Cancer Centre in memory of my wife Brenda. She faced her illness with amazing courage and her death has left a huge hole in my life.

“It was incredibly tough but I found this challenge has given me more personal satisfaction than anything I have ever done. Travelling to India and meeting the people I did, who were content to live on next to nothing, was an eye-opening experience. I would go back again tomorrow.”

Together, the team raised £70,500 for the centre, which treats more than 1,500 patients daily.

The 12-day adventure included a five-day trek in the Himalayan foothills near Dharamsala in Northern India, tackling a rocky ascent to a glacier at an altitude of 3,200m.

Julie Patmore from Yorkshire Cancer Centre said: “The group faced many challenges including a chaotic overnight train, unseasonal hot weather and spicy curries up to three times a day!

“They have been a fantastic team though, taking everything in their stride, supporting each other when the going got tough and sharing the exhilaration of reaching their goal. I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to them all.”

Keith thanked his friends, colleagues and fellow Freemasons who helped him raise £36,000 for the centre.

He said: “Their support has been wonderful. I have raised more than I could ever have hoped. Brenda knew I was undertaking the challenge as I started training before she died. She was very supportive and I think she would have been proud.”

Keith will be taking on another challenge to raise money for the centre in November, cycling along the River Nile in Egypt.

To find out more about fund-raising or to support Keith, call Julie Patmore on 07803 037439.