'˜When I was 32 I lost my leg in a freak accident'¦Â Now I'm climbing Kilimanjaro'Â

AT THE age of just 32, Lance Smith's life was changed irreparably when a freak industrial accident led to the amputation of his left leg.

The limb was crushed against a truck by a 10-tonne digger driven by an unlicensed labourer, at a building site being developed by his employers in Clarence Parade, Southsea. 

But 14 years have now passed since the ordeal, and the father-of-two is gearing up to embark on his biggest physical challenge to date '“ when he climbs Mount Kilimanjaro next August. 

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Not only symbolising his determination to succeed in life since the accident, the ascent will take place in aid of the Alzheimer's Society '“ in the name of a dear relative currently battling the disease. 

'˜My brother-in-law Rob Davies was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 10 years ago,' said Mr Smith, 46 from Southsea.

'˜I've always called him my big Rob because since my sister Kim married him, he's been more like a father figure or a real brother to me than my own family. 

'˜But sadly, he has got really bad really quickly '“ and it's devastating to see him how he is now. He is a completely different person to the Rob I knew before.' 

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Immediately after Rob was diagnosed, Mr Smith said his sister became a '˜true hero' and dedicated her time to caring for him. 

And as a charitable return for her unwavering efforts, he said he is '˜super excited' '“ and unfailingly confident '“ to climb 5,598m-high Mt Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, in 12 months' time. 

He said: '˜After the accident happened, life was turned upside-down.

'˜Because I was such a driven and physically active person, it felt as if life itself was going to end. 

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'˜But to put this climb into perspective, my prosthetic leg is decorated with the Super-Man logo '“ I have never been more determined in my life and I already know I'm going to make it to the top. 

'˜This will be my biggest physical challenge to date '“ and I know I am very lucky to be alive '“ but nothing stops me.'  

To donate to Lance's sponsored climb, for the Alzheimer's Society, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/lance-smith