A FATHER and son from Ensbury Park have raised £5,000 for a brain tumour charity in memory of their eight-year-old relative.
Taylor Fish lost his life to a brain tumour after collapsing suddenly at a birthday party last February. Rushed to Southampton Paediatric Care, Taylor was diagnosed as having a brain stem tumour. He passed away three days later.
Taylor’s granddad John, 53, started walking following the bereavement, but wanted something more challenging to pay tribute to his grandson and raise awareness of brain tumours.
He decided to make the journey to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal, joined by his son, Taylor’s uncle, Matthew Fish, 20.
During training, John climbed Snowdon six times, Scarfel Pyke, Ben Nevis, Glen Nevis, the Spanish Pyrenees and the French Alps, while Matthew cycled 25 miles at a time. They set off on their challenge in September in aid of south west brain tumour support charity Hammer Out, which has helped the family since they lost Taylor.
The pair survived seven days of climbing, fatigue, uncomfortable sleep, cold conditions and severe headaches.
John said: “I am convinced that Taylor was with us every step of the way which gave me great comfort, and the drive to get up every day. As we made progress, I could feel Taylor urging us on, giving me a spiritual push when I needed it and saying ‘Come on Grandad!’”
After reaching their destination, John took a final climb to the summit of Kala Patthar, a mountain close to base camp, where he built a stone memorial to his grandson.
He said: “Our memorial will form part of the scenery and remain there for the spirit of this wonderful little boy to bask in every morning. The experience finally brought me some peace and acceptance.”
The funds raised by John and Matthew will be used to help patients and their families who are facing a brain tumour diagnosis.
Taylor’s family has set up a fundraising and awareness website to keep his memory alive.
Find out more at trust-taylor.co.uk
Donations can still be made at justgiving.com/trusttaylor