Gruelling trek is inspired by tragic Nadine

A banner to mark the memorial climb
A banner to mark the memorial climb

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TWO friends are set to tackle their toughest challenge in life – in memory of a teenager who fought throughout hers.

Michael Parker and Kenny Parkes are about to set off on a gruelling trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Michael and Kenny, both 31 and from Leigh Park, were inspired by their late friend Nadine Blake who died last year following a life-life battle with cystic fibrosis.

The 18-year-old, from Warren Park, put a bucket list together in her last months and she accomplished her dreams – including meeting pop star Peter Andre who has become a family friend.

So far more than £30,000 has been raised in her memory for the Adult CF Ward at Southampton General Hospital.

Kenny and Michael have personally raised £11,000 of that and, after intense training, they are ready to set off for Africa.

Michael, a father of one from Southfield Walk, said: ‘After Nadine passed we were thinking of challenges we could do to fundraise.

‘I’d just seen the Comic Relief documentary about people from Radio 1 climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and it was the biggest thing I could think of doing.

‘Before this I’d never done any hiking or climbing. I’ve been doing a lot of boxing to get my fitness levels up and I’ve been doing some major walks up Butser Hill.

‘We know it’s going to be tough – walking up hill for five hours a day. It’s 5,600m and it’s the highest mountain we can go up without using climbing equipment.’

Nadine’s dad Carl said: ‘We’re pleased they are doing this. We’re over the moon. We’re just touching £30,000 now for the CF ward.

‘When we started this we didn’t imagine we would raise this much.

‘Even people from as far away as Australia and north Ireland have read about Nadine and donated. It’s crazy, unbelievable.’

To donate go to justgiving.com/nadine-blake3.