Paraplegic Cosham man faced 'toughest challenge yet' with gruelling ascent up Snowdon for charity
A PARAPLEGIC Cosham man overcame his ‘toughest challenge yet’ with a gruelling ascent up Wales’ highest mountain to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.
Inspirational Paul Smith OBE, 62, scaled the 1,085 metres of Mount Snowdon on September 11 by part-crawling and part-wheeling in seven and a half hours, with the help of his ‘amazing’ team.
The Royal Navy veteran has used a wheelchair since a road traffic accident in 1991 and has tackled various other challenges including rowing across the English Channel, wheeling 300 miles from Plymouth to London, and skydiving, raising more than £2.3m for charity.
But he said: ‘In terms of endurance this was the most difficult challenge I’ve faced before.
‘When we started the weather was nice and for the first part the walk is just slightly undulating. But then we reached a point where it was hard to make out a track, so we were climbing up rocks and small waterfalls.
‘The weather turned and it rained the whole time. We had to ignore the weather and keep focused.
‘There was never an option of giving up, I was determined to reach the top.’
So far Paul, who lost his grandmother to a brain tumour, has raised more than £7,500 for charity Brain Tumour Research in sponsorship – smashing his original target of £5,740 to pay for two days of research.
He said: ‘For me the main worry was getting too emotional about why I was going the climb.
‘I kept thinking about all the people who have to suffer with brain tumours and how they are the biggest cancer killer in people under the age of 40 but it receives so little funding.
‘It would be brilliant if I could raise a total £15,000 from this, that money would do so much good.
‘Along the way there were a lot of people cheering for me and some who were in tears, which also made me emotional.’
Paul was helped by his team made up of sports therapist Steve-Lee Robinson, lead guide Sean Broderick, another guide Alan Smith and photographer Karen Morling.
He added: ‘They were absolutely amazing, I couldn’t have done it without them.’
To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/paulchallengesnowdon