Mountain man Dean presents cheque to the West Norfolk Breast Unit

A Heacham man has thanked staff at the West Norfolk Breast Unit by raising nearly £3,000 by scaling Mount Kilimanjaro.

Dean Rawnsley, 57, has always wanted to climb the 5,895m mountain in Tanzania and his dream finally came true in February.

Mr Rawnsley was inspired raise money for the unit at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital after his wife, Marie, was treated for Breast Cancer. Marie is now in full remission.

Following a year of training, Dean arrived in Africa on February 16 for the seven-and-a-half-day climb and was joined by Trekking Penguin, which had been knitted by a friend of Marie.

Mr Rawnsley has presented a cheque for £2,933.54 to surgeon Amy Burger and specialist Breast Care Marie Robins, who cared for his wife during her treatment.

He said: “It was a dream to go to Africa and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The trip was better than I expected. Physically it was hard but you draw down to find the strength but the whole experience was fantastic.

“The mountain, which is the main source of income for the people of Tanzania, is a fantastic place to go.

“I wanted to combine my dream of going to Mount Kilimanjaro with raising money for the Breast Unit, where the staff helped my wife.”

Dean had spent 12 months preparing for the challenge by climbing Ben Nevis twice along with a running and cycling programme.

He and Trekking Penguin started their journey up Mount Kilimanjaro with a jungle walk and would walk for up to seven hours a day.

Dean said: “Reaching the top and watching the sunrise was definitely the best part of the trip along with climbing the Barranco Wall, which was really difficult.

“The climb is a fantastic achievement and I was lucky to be a part of a great group. They keep you going and you all work as part of a team. The porters are also the real heroes.”

While the trip up took six days, the downward journey was just a day-and-a-half.

Dean has thanked his employers Fosters Refrigeration for sponsoring the cost of the trip along with all of the people who have donated towards the fundraising.

Consultant Breast Care Surgeon Amy Burger has thanked Dean for his marathon efforts to raise money for the unit.

She said: “We are incredibly grateful to Dean for this tremendous climb to raise money for the unit. This donation will be put to great use for the benefit of our patients.”

West Norfolk Breast Unit was officially opened in May last year to provide a dedicated facility for men and women.

The unit has spacious clinic rooms, examination rooms, a second ultrasound room along with a dedicated counselling area, fitting room and office space.



Dean Rawnsley, centre, presents the cheque to Breast Care Surgeon Amy Burger, right, and Specialist Breast Care Nurse Marie Robins.

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