Two Knaresborough over 60s take on Mt Kilimanjaro
Last updated Feb 19, 2024
Lewis Denton (left) and Michael Moorey

Two Knaresborough people aged over 60 are taking on Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Cancer survivor Michael Moorey and friend Lewis Denton will embark on an eight-day trek in Tanzania up the world’s tallest freestanding mountain in September.

Almost 19 years ago Michael, 64, underwent lifesaving surgery for a cancerous tumour on his liver. He was told if he had the same cancer a few years earlier it would have been untreatable and it would have been a matter of “keeping him comfortable” for as long as possible until he succumbed to the disease.

Thanks to advances in cancer treatment, however, Michael made a full recovery. Nevertheless he said the experience taught him “the true value of life and the importance of giving back”.

He took early retirement after working in the motor trade for 40 years and wanted to “take on a different challenge”.

The challenge is self-funded, meaning every penny donated will go to Cancer Research UK. The target for their climb is currently £3,000 and Michael said “we hope to absolutely smash the target and maybe even double it.”

He is currently doing light training of up to six miles a day to build up endurance alongside his dog and said:

“As you become vintage things become more difficult fitness-wise but the oldest person to ever do it was almost 90 which is incredible.

“I’m feeling a mixture of trepidation and excitement, I’m under no illusion as to how difficult it will be. I am nervous but it is an adventure.”

Lewis (left) and Michael on a previous hill climb.

On their journey along the Lemosho Route the pair will pass through different climate regions from rainforest to glaciers and reach dizzying heights of 5,895 metres.

Lewis Denton, 60, said the challenge “started over a chat and a couple of beers and turned into reality”.

He joked that the easiest part was booking it. He said:

“It has always been on my bucket list and I’m finally in a position to be able to do it. I began trying to get a little fitter by walking and we decided to do it for cancer research due to Michael’s history”.

Lewis began training last summer and will begin six months of hill walking training soon.

He said:

“I am excited, I’m looking forward to it. We are not going to try and be the fastest we are just keeping steady, it gives us something to focus on.

“I’m confident about it, our route has a 95% success rate but it is not a small achievement by any means.

“It is for a good cause and we have an optimistic target, we all know someone affected by cancer.”

To follow their journey and donate to the cause click here.

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