An installer from Northern Ireland is tackling the climb to the top of Mt Errigal… carrying an oil boiler.
Ben Kennedy and his team will be taking on the ascent on August 3rd to raise awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and to raise money for the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS). Ben’s wife Rebekah has been diagnosed with the condition, which affects over 200,000 people in the UK. He explains: “This is a condition that I had not heard of until my wife was diagnosed with it a couple of years before we got married. It is a painful inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects the spine but can also affect other joints, tendons and ligaments.
“My wife had symptoms from when she was 18 but only got diagnosed when she was 25. Since then we have discovered that the average time it takes to get diagnosed is eight and a half years. Although it wasn’t a pleasant diagnosis to get, once she knew what the cause of all her pain was, it made it easier to get help and proper treatment to slow the progression of the disease.
“I’m organising this event to try and raise awareness of AS and to help the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society, a charity that helps support people with AS living in the UK. They work to help raise awareness and educate people about the symptoms of AS, in order to help reduce the diagnosis time. They have branches all over the UK that help people with AS get specialist physiotherapy and support them to stay control of their lives and maintain their quality of life.
The aim is to raise £5,000. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/boilerbackpackforas