A FAMILY have taken on a hiking challenge to raise cash for a charity close to their hearts following a cancer diagnosis.

Jemma Gregory, from Richmond, organised the climb of Helvellyn and Skiddaw in the Lake District on Monday, August 19 with her brother Reece Gregory and cousin Sarah Watson, after her dad Colin was diagnosed with blood cancer Myeloma.

She said: "I wanted to do a challenge to raise money for Myeloma UK. When someone you love gets a cancer diagnosis, you feel so helpless, so this was a way of doing something positive to raise money.

"On the day, we were hit with strong winds, a lot of rain and poor visibility – so for inexperienced fell walkers like me it was extra difficult – but we managed over 5000ft of ascent and 10 miles in seven hours. The day was completed by Dad meeting us at the end of the second mountain, which was a surprise and a really emotional moment.

"Dad has walked all the 214 Wainwright walks in the Lake District so it felt like a fitting challenge. I can walk for miles but this was really difficult. When we started on the first mountain, visibility was terrible, and the path was very narrow and like a steep set of steps. I felt quite anxious and didn't think I could do it so I was glad to get to the top."

"I am so proud that we managed to do this for my dad. He has faced his diagnosis with so much bravery and determination and we wanted to show how much he means to us by completing this challenge, all whilst raising money for Myeloma UK so they can continue their vital research. I’m so grateful to everyone who has donated and I’m already planning on doing another challenge in the near future, once I’ve recovered."

Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a blood cancer arising from plasma cells. At any one time there are around 17,500 people living with myeloma in the UK. It accounts for 15 per cent of blood cancers, and two per cent of all cancers. Myeloma mainly affects those over the age of 65, however it has been diagnosed in people much younger.

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/hike-for-myeloma.