Solihull dad beings life-long dream to a reality and raise funds for Molly Olly's Wishes - The Solihull Observer

Solihull dad beings life-long dream to a reality and raise funds for Molly Olly's Wishes

Solihull Editorial 19th Jul, 2017   0

FOR many, climbing one mountain in a week would be a challenge.

But one Solihull man is taking it two steps further by taking on three mountains in that space of time.

Matt Evans will be scaling the Cosmiques Ridge, the Dent du Geant and the Matterhorn mountains in the Alps to raise funds for Molly Olly’s Wishes, from July 30 to August 5.

Matt will be taking on the challenge in honour of Oliver Partridge, a school friend of his son, who was was diagnosed with cancer not long after he started school in September last year.

So far in his courageous battle, the five-year-old has undergone surgery and several rounds of chemotherapy.

Throughout this, the St Alphege schoolboy and his family have been supported by Molly Olly’s Wishes, which provides emotional and financial support to children and families facing a terminal illness.

Speaking to the Observer, Matt said: “It’s a lifelong dream of mine to climb the Matterhorn.

“When I set out to do this challenge a couple of years ago it was a private endeavour but, having seen so much courage and the best of human spirit recently, I want it to be more than about me.

“I want to help others deal with the bad times because they happen when you least expect it, and having support is critical.”

Matt will start his challenge by taking on the Cosmiques ridge which sits high above Chamonix in France before heading into Italy to take on the Dent du Geant or the Giants tooth.

If successful and the weather is good, he will then head to Switzerland and the town of Zermatt from where he will start the ascent of the Matterhorn – the sixth most dangerous mountain in the world.

The climb up the jagged, exposed and snow-capped mountain will take between eight and 15 hours to climb, starting in the early hours of the morning. And if the ascent is taking too long Matt will be turned back as the dangers on the way down will be too risky.

Matt has been a keen walker and climber all his life and had started training about two years ago to complete this challenge before his life took a dramatic twist.

In November 2015 Matt’s wife, Julie, had a headache with double vision and within a week they were told it was multiple brain tumours and they had no time.

A week later the diagnosis was altered to MS.

Things went down hill fast and Julie was back in hospital, she collapsed and her heart stopped for 40 minutes and she spent two weeks in coma in intensive care.

She was paralysed on the right side but through pure grit and determination she learn to walk again.

Matt said: “I had this challenge booked before Julie’s accident.

“Once we got through the dark days she was insistent that I saw this challenge through.”

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