Climbing up The O2 for the Big C Challenge

Climbing up The O2 for the Big C Challenge

Climbing up The O2 for the Big C Challenge

Climbing up The O2 for the Big C Challenge

Louis Smith

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

It's not exactly Everest but there's an exhilarating view from the top of The O2. MARK CHANDLER joins a group of cancer campaigners for a trip across the Greenwich dome.

Taking on Up at The O2 is more of a feat of imagination than bravery, despite the hype-laden video played to climbers beforehand from a hyperactive adventurer at 'base camp'

The height may not be eye-watering but the price is, so to willingly hand over your £26 you have to buy into the fact that the 52m-tall dome is something worth conquering.

Fortunately, I was joined on my trip by someone suited to the task - lead singer of 80s band Imagination Errol Kennedy and a group of volunteers for The Royal Marsden hospital.

They were launching the Big C Challenge - which will see people from across the area performing anything from going without coffee to organising a cricket match in order to raise cash for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

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Together we donned our harnesses and climbing boots, secured ourselves to a metal cord and made our way up the dome. And although the climb itself is relatively ordinary, the view across London to Greenwich and the city, is anything but.

At the top we stood around, taking in the scenery along with the obligatory selfies before starting the somewhat more hair-raising descent - it all seems a lot steeper on the way down.

I was just thankful not to be head of The Royal Marsden's breast unit who is about to start a gruelling cycle for five days with the friends and family of one of his patients. The ‘Le Cure de France’ will see Prof Smith cycle up four of the Tour de France’s iconic mountain climbs.

Prof Smith said: "It will be the toughest physical challenge I’ve ever taken on, but it’s all to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and fund technology and personnel in The Royal Marsden Breast Unit to continue with existing breast cancer trials and make new trials a reality."

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More than 70 celebrities are helping to highlight The Royal Marsden's campaign by taking C-selfies, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Ricky Gervais, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Louis Smith, Rebecca Adlington and Judy Murray.

To find out more, visit royalmarsden.org/bigc

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