Legendary mountaineer to lead ‘Alfie’s Climb’ on NI’s highest peak

January 7, 2019

A Newry boy suffering from a rare muscle wasting genetic disorder is set to achieve his mountain climbing ambitions, with the help of local mountaineering legend, Terence ‘Banjo’ Bannon. 

The renowned mountain climber, who in 2003 became the second person in Northern Ireland to reach the summit of Mount Everest, is organising “Alfie’s Climb” – a fundraising climb to the peak of Northern Ireland’s highest mountain, Slieve Donard.  The charity climb will raise vital funds to help send six year old Alfie Pentony to the US for potentially life-saving gene therapy to treat the fatal genetic disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. 

Little Alfie was diagnosed with the rare degenerative condition in 2016 and will be one of the first children in the world to undergo the pioneering gene therapy in the US. His parents Colleen and Jamie must raise £150,000 to fund the American trial in May, with Alfie’s Climb in April one of a string of events happening over the next few months to help him avail of the vital treatment. 

His devoted parents say mountain climbing is on Alfie’s ‘bucket list’ but is something he would never be able to do due to the deterioration of his leg muscles.   In order to give him the chance to experience a mountain climb, his Aunt Olivia and Uncle John will carry the six year old to the summit of Slieve Donard.

The charity climb takes place on Sunday 14th April and is open to everyone, with Alfie’s family inviting local clubs, businesses and schools to get involved by entering teams of 5 to compete against each other for the fastest climb on the day. Registration will be £50 per team.

The event also includes family registration for £15 per family and £10 registration for individual walkers. 

Information booklets, registration packs and sponsor forms will be received upon registration. To register for ‘Alfie’s Climb’ contact the Fight for Alfie fundraising group on 07840348475 or via the group Facebook page.