A SOLIHULL man fulfilled his life-long dream of climbing the Matterhorn mountain and raised more than £2,000 in honour of a brave five-year-old boy diagnosed with cancer.
Matt Evans was inspired by Oliver Partridge, a school friend of his son diagnosed shortly after starting school in September last year.
Oliver has undergone surgery and several rounds of chemotherapy.
Throughout, the St Alphege schoolboy and his family have been supported by Molly Olly’s Wishes, which provides emotional and financial support to children and families facing a terminal illness.
Matt raised £2,055 for Molly Olly’s Wishes, including £500 from the Solihull Roundtable through his four-peak challenge.
He told The Observer: “I’m so happy with the money raised.
“The climb on the Matterhorn was relentless.
“There is no other way to explain it.
“Along with the physical exersion you have to stay absolutely mentally alert as a single mistake can lead to catastrophe.”
Matt has been a keen walker and climber all his life. He started training about two years ago to complete the challenge before his life took a dramatic twist.
In November 2015 Matt’s wife, Julie, had a headache with double vision and within a week they were told it was multiple brain tumours and they had no time.
A week later the diagnosis was altered to MS.
Things went down hill fast and Julie was back in hospital. She collapsed and her heart stopped for 40 minutes.
She spent two weeks in a coma in intensive care.
She was paralysed on the right side but through pure determination she learned to walk again.
Matt said: “I had this challenge booked before Julie’s accident.
“Once we got through the dark days she was insistent that I saw this challenge through.”
Matt initially set out to take on the Cosmiques Ridge, the Dent du Geant and the Matterhorn mountains in the Alps.
However, due to lightning storms, high winds and loose rocks he wasn’t able to scale Cosmiques or Dent du Geant.
Matt’s guides found alternatives that were safer and he ended up climbing four mountains instead.
He started off in France and climbed the East Ridge of Grand Montets, Brevent and the Aiguelle d’entreves.
He then moved onto his final challenge, the Matterhorn on the Switzerland and Italy border.
For more or to donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/miraclemummy