South Holland pals conquer Ben Nevis to raise cash for dementia sufferers

At the summit: (L-R) Sean Wilkerson, Joe Woods, John White, Angie Woods, Tom Wilkerson, Dave Harrison, Sue Wilkerson, Harriet Tunnard, Sam Wilkerson, Brendan Woods.
At the summit: (L-R) Sean Wilkerson, Joe Woods, John White, Angie Woods, Tom Wilkerson, Dave Harrison, Sue Wilkerson, Harriet Tunnard, Sam Wilkerson, Brendan Woods.

When Sue Wilkerson made the final punishing steps up Britain’s tallest mountain it was the memory of her mum that pushed her on.

Together with 12 friends and family from Donington, Spalding and Cowbit, Sue climbed 1346 metre high Ben Nevis in Scotland to raise vital funds for research into dementia, the condition that affected her mum Mary Woods.

Start picture: (Left to Right) Michael Kingdom, Martin Cross, Tom Wilkerson, Sue Wilkerson, Dave Harrison, Sean Wilkerson, Sam Wilkerson, Harriet Tunnard, Angie Woods, Joe Woods, John White, Brendan Woods. kC2mfY6fT_Nsc2aotW4H

Start picture: (Left to Right) Michael Kingdom, Martin Cross, Tom Wilkerson, Sue Wilkerson, Dave Harrison, Sean Wilkerson, Sam Wilkerson, Harriet Tunnard, Angie Woods, Joe Woods, John White, Brendan Woods. kC2mfY6fT_Nsc2aotW4H

Sue said: “For all those people that have, or have had someone with dementia in their lives, a diagnosis can come as a shock – even if you’ve been half expecting it. They say that you grieve twice; we went through this with Mum. It was heartbreaking to watch her change and see her struggle, knowing that she would never be the same again.

“When we knew the end was near, we didn’t want her to go but it was cruel to see her suffer and we loved her far too much to see her continue in this way. We were lucky in a way, Mum knew who we were and she understood our love for her.

“Mum had had a happy and healthy life with her husband John. She became forgetful and lost her confidence and was eventually diagnosed with dementia at the age of 74 and in the last six wretched weeks a brain tumour.

“In her final few weeks she was extremely well cared for by all the staff at Brunlea in Pinchbeck. We would like to thank everyone who supported us through this difficult time.”

They say that you grieve twice; we went through this with Mum. It was heartbreaking to watch her change and see her struggle, knowing that she would never be the same again.

Sue Wilkerson

Speaking about climb at the end of last month, Sue said: “We thought we had trained and were fit enough but some found it easier than others – no-one was giving up though, we were doing this in memory of Mum. The climb itself was good therapy!

“We need to have a final tally but it’s looking like we have raised nearly £1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.”

• If you would like to add to the donations click on www.justgiving.com/fundraising/DementiaResearch-BenNevis2016

Mary Woods

Mary Woods