Xtralite Manager Takes on Mount Kilimanjaro for Children’s Charity
Dave, 32, who took up the post of Techncial Services Manager for Xtralite last year, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 3 and since has had numerous operations to help improve his mobility and overcome the difficulties he had with walking.
Yet despite this adversity Dave made the decision to climb the 19,340ft mountain to raise funds for Smile for Life, a charity that supports young people affected by disabilities and learning difficulties in the North East of the UK.
Dave said: “This is something I never thought I’d be able to do and I am determined to prove to myself and other disabled people that you can face physical challenges. It is going to be hard work but it will be worth it.
“In school I always stayed away from the physical subjects and stuck to the more academic ones where I could sit at a desk, write or draw, which has served me well, particularly with my role at Xtralite.”
Although Dave was determined not to let the ‘disabled’ label hold him back and after his first short leisure walk decided to push himself further he now partakes in other physical activities such as basketball, walking and cycling. This spurred him on too look for a greater challenge.
“My friend James was doing the Mount Kilimanjaro trek for Smile for Life and it sounded just what I was looking for,“ said Dave. “I had not come across Smile for Life before and think I could have really benefited from a charity like them as a youngster. There was nothing out there like them when I was growing up.”
Jim Lowther, Sales Director at Xtralite commented: “This is a fantastic challenge for Dave and one that I know he will relish in completing. The whole team at Xtralite is behind Dave and we look forward to supporting his other fund raising activities.”
Dave has organised an African-themed ball on Friday 27th May to help raise vital funds for Smile for Life.
Paula Gascoigne, Chief Executive of Smile for Life, says David is an inspiration to others. She said: “We are delighted and privileged that David is joining us on our Kilimanjaro trek.
“I know he has given this a great deal of thought and the training he is undergoing is intense, but he is truly committed.
“David’s determination is inspiring to the children and young people that we support – many of whom have Cerebral Palsy.
“The fact that David is not letting this stop him from reaching his goal proves to our young people that even with a disability, there are no boundaries.”