79-year-old grandfather plans to scale Kilimanjaro for Rainbows

A 79-year-old grandfather from Leicestershire is taking on the biggest challenge of his life by climbing to the top of Africa’s highest mountain.

Starting on 2 October, Brian Fowler plans to scale 5,895m to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania. He is aiming to raise £1,600 for our hospice.

Brian, who has completed the Great North Run 16 times, is no stranger to challenges. Three years ago he ran 93 miles along the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path and raised £1,200 for us. He has also walked the Pennine Way and trekked 182 miles Coast to Coast.

“As I approach the age of 80 I should by now be old and wise but there’s time for that later,” he said. “Now I need to do something for young people who may never have the life opportunities that I have enjoyed. The plans are cast, the kit is sorted, I am fairly fit but still training and I am self-funding my trip.  

“I can do nothing about the weather on Kilimanjaro, it might be hot and dusty it may be wet and muddy, it will certainly be cold near the summit especially at night maybe zero degrees.  The oxygen in the air is thin and altitude sickness as a result is a possibility. Basically it is an uphill walk with a pack on my back for several days, sleeping at night on the rock face in a sleeping bag.  

“I have lived a good and happy life and have been able to see my children and grandchildren grow up. My lovely wife, Catherine, passed away six years ago and Rainbows was a cause that was very dear to her so it is important to me to raise funds for the charity.

“All of my life I have enjoyed big challenges. I started when I was 14 and I have kept myself fit and able to still be doing them at 79. I am immensely looking forward to this one. I can’t wait to take the Rainbows banner to the top and will feel so proud.

“While I can do things, I will. I would hate to be sitting in a chair saying I wish had done that. Instead I can say I am proud I did.” 

Ali Furlong, Community Fundraiser for Rainbows, added: “Brian is incredibly inspiring and personally motivated me to put on my running trainers again. We wish him all the best on his challenge. On behalf of all of our children, young people and their families, I would like to thank him for supporting Rainbows. Brian is doing a wonderful thing raising funds to help us run the hospice and we look forward to hearing all about his adventures.”

To support Brian, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Brian-Fowler7