Norwich resident raises thousands for Priscilla Bacon Lodge

A mum's courageous determination to climb the highest mountain in Africa in memory of her late husband has raised �4,000 for the hospital which gave him so much care.

Jacquie Craske took on the 5,895-metre Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Unthank Road.

That was where her late husband Paul Harpham, who died in 1999 after battling a brain tumour, was treated and Mrs Craske, 52, from Paston Way in Thorpe St Andrew, wanted to raise money for the hospital.

She said: 'They were brilliant – not only for Paul but for the whole family. They looked after Paul superbly, making his life there as comfortable and as homelike as possible.'

The climb was also in memory of her nan Nina Demynn, who died in 2009 after battling cancer, and her friend Mick Finnie, who died in 2009 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

She said the climb had been extremely tough, but that she was pleased she had achieved her goal and raised cash which will be used for hoist-friendly, rise and recline chairs for the patients at Priscilla Bacon Lodge.

Mrs Craske, who married her husband, Andy in 2001, said the toughest part of the clumb was as they approached the summit. She said: 'The next seven hours were the most terrifying and scariest of my life. Words cannot explain how difficult it was to try and climb, breathe and concentrate.

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'We stopped occasionally for minute breaks, but any longer and we would not have been able to carry on. Thank goodness for Mathew, my guide, he kept me going.

'At times I would whisper 'I can't do this any more' and he would gently place his hand on my arm and say to me 'you can do this Jacquie, not long to go now'.'

She said she wanted to thank her friends and family for support and sponsorship, Bannatyne's Gym and Mark for helping get her prepared for the challenge, to all the companies who donated, but especially Godfrey Morgan Solicitors for their �500 donation.

She also wanted to thank the United School of Dance and The Talk for their part in a charity night she organised, which raised more than �1,500.

See more pictures of Mrs Craske's climb online at

Are you raising funds for a good cause? Contact reporter Donna-Louise Bishop on 01603 772438 or email