A FATHER is to scale one of the tallest mountains in the world following a life-changing experience on a children’s hospital ward.
It was during many hours spent at his son’s bedside at the Nottingham Queen’s Medical Centre that Mark Disney, from Hilton, decided he would climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
The hospital became a second home for Mr Disney after his six-year-old son Aston Bradford-Disney was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Fortunately, nearly a year on Aston is fairing much better, thanks largely to the brave act of his brother Dane, who donated much-needed bone marrow to his suffering younger brother.
When a programme of chemotherapy failed to rid six-year-old Aston of the illness, the youngster desperately needed a transplant to give him a chance of beating the disease, with 10-year-old Dane bravely stepping in.
Mr Disney said: “He’s doing very well. He’s in remission and doesn’t have to go to hospital as much as he used to. It’s now once a month rather than twice a week. He will have to take medication for the rest of his life but apart from that he’s doing really well.”
With so much time spent on a children’s cancer and leukaemia ward, Mr Dinsey naturally came across many heartbreaking stories.
Touched by the hard work of the staff on the ward and desperate to help children in a similar position to Aston in any way he could, he decided he needed to do something to help – and that’s when he settled on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Mr Disney will head out to Tanzania, in eastern Africa, to take on the challenge next month along with his sister Sharon Hussain and her niece Genna Walton.
He said: “Spending seven months on the ward, I saw babies, amputees – some of the sights on the ward were horrendous. I just wanted to do something.
“I’m a bit nervous, but excited at the same time. I’m more nervous about failing, but I don’t think I will. It’s a doddle compared to what these children have been through.”
Anybody wanting to donate to Mr Disney’s cause can do so at www.justgiving.com/team-aston