On top of Africa
PUBLISHED: 12:47 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 13:54 04 May 2010
ELY fundraiser Neil Harrap is on top of the world after raising more than £6,500 for a leading cancer charity by climbing to the summit of Africa s highest mountain. Neil, 47, trekked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Supp
ELY fundraiser Neil Harrap is on top of the world after raising more than £6,500 for a leading cancer charity by climbing to the summit of Africa's highest mountain.
Neil, 47, trekked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Support after a friend died of cancer.
He launched his challenge as a tribute to Peter Stafford from Witchford, who died just five weeks after being diagnosed with the disease.
Neil, of Cambridge Road, took time off from his job as an engineer at RAF Wyton and left behind his wife Julie and their children to fly out to Africa with 35 others.
Just six days after arriving at their destination, Neil reached the mountain's summit at 5am British time along with seven fellow fund-raisers.
"It was a moment of elation, emotional release, and exceptional achievement, but almost surreal," said Neil, who is now back home.
He added that before the trip everyone was excited but anxious about the challenge they faced.
"The trek took us through tropical rainforest, alpine desert, volcanic scrubland, and ice fields until finally to the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro," he said.
"All this whilst coping with rapidly changing temperatures, the effects of high altitude, rough camping, and an imposed vegetarian diet, due to an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever."
Cambridge Macmillan fundraiser, Alice Macek, said: "What a fantastic achievement. We are indebted to Neil for raising such a brilliant amount.
"This money will help families affected by cancer, by providing emotional, practical, and financial support. Without the support of people like Neil, Macmillan Cancer Support would not be able to continue."
Neil is not planning to stop there however; he will be taking a break before looking for the next challenge to support the charity.