Climbing Kilimanjaro for teenager who died after leukaemia battle

Expedition to Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Eve Merton Trust'Back row: l-r John Rotherham, Mick Shaw, Colin Smith, John McCormack, John Bramley. Front: Kev Roberts, Sean Davies
Expedition to Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Eve Merton Trust'Back row: l-r John Rotherham, Mick Shaw, Colin Smith, John McCormack, John Bramley. Front: Kev Roberts, Sean Davies

Seven Doncaster pals are set to scale the tallest mountain in Africa in memory of a teenager who died after battling leukaemia.

The group are expecting to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro on Friday after deciding to make the journey in memory of Curtis Allen, from Wath, who died last November aged just 16.

Curtis Allen

Curtis Allen

He was a pupil at Pope Pius School in Wath.

Leader of the group, John McCormack, aged 45, from Conisbrough, is the bother of one of Curtis' uncles.

He and the other six will raise money for a Doncaster charity, the Eve Merton Dreams Trust, which arranged for Curtis to spend a day with his favourite football team, Liverpool, before his death.

READ MORE: College raises money in memory of South Yorkshire student who passed away

Making the journey with John, are John Rotherham, aged 57, Colin Smith, aged 39, Kev Roberts, aged 30, and Sean Davies, aged 47, all from Conisbrough, Mick Shaw, aged 46, from Thurnscoe, and John Bramley aged 35, of Denaby.

The gang met up at The Old Market Hall pub for a final breakfast before setting off on Thursday morning - although they were delayed as Sean forgot his sleeping bag!

They flew to Nairobi that night before starting the long trek, having spend weeks training with long walks.

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John McCormack said: "It is a four hour hike from the last camp to the summit and back, and the temperature at the top is around -15C. There will be plenty of snow. It is six days up and two days down.

"The target is £1,000. We're calling it the Curtis Allen Kilimanjaro Challenge.

"We want to raise money for the Eve Merton Trust, because they did a lot of Curtis. They gave him great support. His mum, Tracy Mason, thinks its a great idea.

"We had hoped Curtis had got over it but he died last year. It was a total tragedy."

The target has already been passed, with £1,200 pledged at the start of the week.

Click here to donate.

Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania, with its peak at 5,895m above sea level. It is said to have last erupted between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago.