Leukaemia survivor following in grandmother's footsteps by trekking to Everest base camp (From News Shopper)
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Leukaemia survivor following in grandmother's footsteps by trekking to Everest base camp
A LEUKAEMIA survivor is preparing to follow in his grandmother’s footprints to celebrate beating the disease.
Margaret Coppard spent 10 days trekking across the Himalayas in 2000 in support of her grandson Tom Mote who had been diagnosed with the illness the previous year.
And two years later, when she was 68, she trekked to more than 17,500ft above sea level to reach Everest base camp.
These expeditions raised more than £8,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust and helped her to deal with what was happening to her grandson.
Mrs Coppard, of Warren Road, Orpington, said: “He became very ill and I just thought it would be a way of joining in with Tom’s illness, not of helping but of being with him by doing something like that.
“When I got to base camp there was a sense of achievement and walking with me were people who were in the same position and there was a bond between us.
“It was a very good experience as I met other people and it helped me to deal with my thoughts about what was going on.”
And now, 10 years on, Tom Mote is getting ready to do the same journey to base camp.
For the 17-year-old, of Warren Road, Orpington, it is to give something back to the Sutton branch of the Royal Marsden Hospital where he was treated and also to say he is now free of cancer.
Tom says being given the all clear was more than being told he had beaten leukaemia.
He said: “It gives you freedom because it lets you do everything you want.
“I’m doing the trek to say thank you and as a final sign that I have got through it all.
“It is exciting and it will be a new experience to go off by myself after being looked after for so many years when I was in hospital.”
Tom is set to start his trek on August 21 and you can sponsor him at justgiving.com/tmote