WAR veteran James Rose who lost both legs after being blown up by a mine in Afghanistan is planning to become the first military double amputee to climb 20,000 ft high Mount Kilimanjaro unaided.

James, 31, from Middlesbrough is hoping to raise £30,000 through Justgiving to help other veterans with Help for Heroes and the British Legion. A fitness fanatic before his devastating injuries in 2009 James has battled to regain his mental and physical fitness. Last year he won a place in the Invictus Games wheelchair and sitting volleyball GB teams winning silver and bronze medals.

He said: "As the reality of my injuries hit home, I became extremely frustrated. Would I be able to walk again with prosthetics? Would I need a wheelchair for the rest of my life? At the heart of this was my love for football, which I knew I could never play again. This led to depression and anxiety, and I’m very grateful for my family’s support. I was determined not be beaten by the injuries sustained defending my country and decided to pursue my passion for fitness."

He started rowing with a static chair which gave him a new lease of life and pushed him to become a Para Rower, also cycling 65 miles with his hands for which he won the Local Hero's Award for Courage. Now he wants to support and pay back the people who have helped him. With fellow veteran Former RAF Corporal Darren Young who suffers from spine and shoulder injuries they decided the next challenge had to be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as part of a team of five.

James added: "We’re both incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received so far having raised £4,422 of our £30,000 target. Sport challenges and the training involved have not only helped keep me fit physically, but mentally, allowing me to gain confidence and deal with depression and anxiety.

"Our team are currently dealing with PTSD, anxiety and depression. Those who have left the military and our loved ones who have been there to support us have also been affected. This is the next big challenge, and we couldn’t do it without the generous donations on Justgiving through which we hope to raise awareness of mental health issues and support our two causes."

The climb is being supported by actor Brian Blessed and a host of professional and Olympic athletes.To support the appeal go to https://justgiving.com/crowdfunding/road-to-kili