Kim McNicol, 57, mum-of-two from Dedham, will be taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on 18th June with her eldest son, Ross, and his girlfriend, Lauren, of Ipswich.
Kim is seeing a strength and conditioning coach twice a week to ensure she is ready to complete the scenic circular walk in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which encompasses the Pen-Y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough peaks.
The trio – who have called themselves ‘the three musketeers’ – are using the challenge to fundraise for the charity Brain Tumour Research, which they have supported since Kim’s brain tumour diagnosis last year.
Kim said: “When I don’t go to my coach I try to walk every day and I’m building up my miles. Last weekend I walked around Alton Walter in Suffolk, which is eight miles, so I’m on track. I think that, seeing as I’ve been so lucky where many others aren’t, I just feel like I want to do what I can to help. The Yorkshire Three Peaks may seem like a small thing but I feel like I need to do it”
“I’ve been lucky and I’m still here so I want to do what I can whilst I can. I want to live life and, although I do get really tired, I’m feeling positive about the future and excited about my upcoming challenge.”
Kim’s vestibular schwannoma went undiagnosed for two years and was even missed on an MRI scan before finally being discovered a year ago. Her symptoms included hearing problems, the inability to walk straight and an uncontrolled shuffling of her feet.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We were saddened to learn of the struggles Kim had in getting diagnosed and the hearing loss she suffered as a result of her tumour. We’re very grateful for all her support and wish her, Ross and Lauren the best of luck with their challenge. It’s only with the help of supporters like them that we’re able to continue funding vital research into brain tumours. Only 12% of brain tumour patients survive beyond five years of their diagnosis and in England someone is diagnosed with a brain tumour every two hours; we’re determined to change this.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is the driving force behind the call for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.
To support the group’s fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/KimMcNicol.