Search

Norwich man takes on highest peak

PUBLISHED: 07:30 16 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:45 02 July 2010

Paul Godfrey

Paul Godfrey

A Norwich man who lost his father to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) will take on Africa's mightiest mountain later this year in a bid to remember his father and raise money for research into the degenerative illness.

A Norwich man who lost his father to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) will take on Africa's mightiest mountain later this year in a bid to remember his father and raise money for research into the degenerative illness.

Paul Godfrey, 29, will be aiming to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in October and hopes to help a charity conquer MND - a group of related diseases, affecting the motor nerves or neurones in the brain and spinal cord which pass messages to the muscles - at the same time.

Mr Godfrey, from Churchill Road, off Sprowston Road, Norwich, lost his father Ray to the illness in January 2009 aged just 72 and wants to complete the climb to the top of the 5,895 metre mountain not only to remember his father - but to raise awareness of MND among the public.

The client executive for Cable and Wireless in Norwich hopes that by taking part in the challenge he can raise vital funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association to help the families of others who have been struck down by the illness.

Mr Godfrey said: “The main reason I want to do it is because not enough is known about MND - there's far too few people who know about.

“In terms of cures and research there's not enough money and I don't believe there's any central government funding. The only donations they get are just that - donations from members of the public.”

Mr Godfrey's father, who was a pilot in the RAF before flying commercial aircraft for a living, was diagnosed with MND in the summer of 2006 and by the time he died the illness had consumed him.

Mr Godfrey said: “At the end he could hardly communicate with people or hardly talk. You could see it was totally frustrating for him because he was an articulate man. He was a good public speaker had a great sense of humour and could talk to anyone about anything. That was what hit me hardest. I struggled to have a conversation with him and that broke me in bits, it really did.”

His father, who lived in Swanton Morley, near Dereham, with his wife Cilla, 60, remained at home throughout his illness and died at home with his family around him.

He said: “It was what he wanted. He said he didn't want to go into a home. He got his wish.”

Mr Godfrey said the family were given advice and support by the Motor Neurone Disease Association during his father's illness which prompted him to try and help in some way.

He said: “I was looking on the website about getting involved in fundraising - they do all sorts from Ski treks in Lapland to treks at the Great Wall of China. I knew I wanted to do something like that.”

Mr Godfrey was attracted to the Mount Kilimanjaro challenge which will see fundraisers try and reach the top in a trip between October 16 and 26. He needs to raise £3,500 to be able to take part, but hopes to raise a lot more.

He said: “I need to do it for myself. It's important for me, also for my dad and to raise awareness of MND.”

For more information or if you would like to sponsor Paul go to www.justgiving.com/paul-godfrey

Are you raising money in aid of a loved one? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists