Dad's world beating mountain challenge

A dad-of-three is aiming to break a world record by being the first paraplegic to scale Kilimanjaro.

Thursday, 24th March 2016, 7:00 am
Shaun Gash with his wife Dawn.

Shaun Gash, who was paralysed in a car accident 24 years ago, will take on African’s highest peak with a team of 32 trekkers behind him.

The trekkers will be raising money for CancerCare, children’s charity Alexandra House and Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre.

The team will set off on their Kiliwheels journey from VVV gym, in Hest Bank on August 16 and are hoping to reach the summit by August 23.

Shaun, who is married to Dawn and is dad to 16-year-old twins Sharna and Kyle and 11-year-old Niamh, has been overwhelmed with support received so far. The 45-year-old said: “This is the biggest challenge I have ever planned and will achieve. I am very fortunate to have my wife, Dawn, joining and supporting me throughout the fundraising and also the trek.

“Being able to push the boundaries and over come challenges has always been the drive and motivation with everything I do. I have spent 24 years in a wheelchair and have been able to complete some amazing adventures and more recently become the first UK Adaptive Athlete to compete and complete in the UK Championships for Obstacle Course Racing.”

K2 Specialist Services, an oil company based in Singapore pledged $15,000 to the Kilimanjaro Orphanage Centre on the team’s behalf.

The Borough and Borough Brewery has supported the trek – with donations from their Kilimanjaro Ale.

Support has also come from St Wilfrids Primary School, Halton Ridge Primary School, West End Primary School, Morecambe High School and Clayton-le-woods Primary School, in Chorley.

Michael Sheen, from RGK Wheelchairs, has designed and built a special wheelchair for Shaun for the expedition.

The team will be taking part in a training session in the Lakes on May 7 May, where they will be preparing for the expedition with a short climb up Helvelyn. Maximum Adventure will be with the team, Darren Hunt will be the guide for the expedition and will be analysing the needs and the performance of the wheelchair.

As well as the Kilimanjaro hike Shaun is also taking on other challenges throughout the year including, the Reaper challenge on April 9 in Coventry, Mayy 7 Helvyln training for Kilimanjaro, May 28 Torture Teail, in Hexham, June 11-12 Cataran Yomp, in Scotland, June 18 Zeus races Guinness World Record and the VVV Spinathon on July 10.

Shaun and the team has raised £15,000 for the Kilimanjaro trek so far.