A STUDENT from Wirral is climbing the great heights of Mount Kilimanjaro for his dad.
Jack Mercer from Wallasey is doing the six-day challenge in aid of Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).
The 19-year-old decided to do the trek on behalf of his dad Tony who contracted the disease when he was a young boy.
Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, is the tallest free standing mountain in the world and stands at 5,895m.
Kibo, the snow-capped peak, is one of the most recognisable sights in the world of adventure and it is a huge challenge for those who are prepared to tackle the landscape and the altitude to reach the summit.
Jack, who is currently studying French and History at Warwick University, is doing the trek in September. So far he has raised £354 out of his £2,500 target.
He said: “Students are the second group most likely to be affected by meningitis.
“My dad once suffered from the disease as a young boy so this is a charity that I feel particularly passionate about.
“He has told me what it was like, and my nan talks about it too. It took a long time for him to recover from it.
“There are a few ways to catch it such as lack of hygiene and certain unwashed salads but mainly it is from being in large groups so students are at risk as well as newborn babies.
“Although most people in the UK receive vaccinations at an early age to prevent the onset of meningitis, the disease exists in several different forms which make complete immunity virtually impossible.
“Continuous research by MRF is an absolute necessity in order to recognise and treat its symptoms as well as reduce the number of those who face the often tragic consequences of this fatal disease.”
Susie Bailey from MRF added: “We are so grateful to Jack for supporting MRF by climbing Kilimanjaro.
“As well as helping to raise much-needed funds for our work to fight meningitis, they have also helped raise awareness of this devastating disease.”
To sponsor Jack visit his just giving page www.justgiving.com/jacksrmercer