Friends complete trek to fundraise for Dan

Tom Vanner and  friends at the top of Ben Nevis in Scotland
Tom Vanner and friends at the top of Ben Nevis in Scotland
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DETERMINED Tom Vanner completed a gruelling trek to raise cash for a fundraising drive to help his best friend who was paralysed in a skiing accident.

Tom, 31, completed the Three Peaks Challenge with seven friends in a bid to raise money for 31-year-old Dan Wierzbicki to buy a mountain trike.

Dan Wierzbicki

Dan Wierzbicki

Dan, of Sixth Avenue, Cosham, was paralysed from the chest down in an accident which happened while he was skiing off-piste down a mountain in Les Arcs, France.

The force ripped his head forwards so much it broke a vertebra in his neck as well as three ribs and his sternum, leaving him with no feeling or muscle control from his armpits down.

Tom and his team completed the challenge, which began at Ben Nevis in Scotland, moving on to Scafell Pike in the Lake District and ended with Mount Snowdon in North Wales, in 23hrs 52 mins.

Tom said: ‘It was the most mentally and physically challenging thing that I’ve ever done but it’s worth it.

‘We’ve had phenomenal support from the community and would like to thank everyone for their donations.

‘We’re so proud of Dan for continuing to live life to the full and having a mountain trike would enable him to do so much more.’

Dan said: ‘It was a brilliant effort and it was pretty tough. This chair will enable me to go places that I wouldn’t be able normally so I’m grateful.’

Steve Thatcher, who owns cosmetic vehicle repair specialist Revive! Portsmouth, sponsored Tom.

Steve said: ‘Tom would love to see Dan maintain his active lifestyle more than anything and he told me about how the mountain trike that could really help him. But at £4,500, it doesn’t come cheap.

‘As a local company, I wanted to help Tom and Dan reach their goal and sponsored Tom £200 because these two men are an inspiration and both have a “won’t quit” attitude.

‘Dan has been through a tough 15 months since his accident and has maintained incredibly positivity. Tom is a compassionate and dedicated friend who has gone the extra mile. I gain serious motivation from these two guys.’

The campaign has raised £2,200 so far. To donate, go to crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Dan-weetabix