Alex told us that when he in the sixth form he had meningitis twice – although both times was lucky enough to make a full recovery. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing:
“During one of those hospitalisations I had a botched lumbar puncture, which caused nerve damage and made it painful to sit down for extended periods of time – which resulted in me missing quite a lot of school."
“After almost a year, this settled down on its own accord and I am now studying at university.”
He said his friend, the other Alex, had grown up in Cambodia and seen first hand the devastating effect that disease can have - especially in the absence of adequate healthcare. This had motivated him to challenge himself in the name of disease prevention and awareness by joining Alex on the Mount Kilimanjaro challenge.
Alex said their adventure would start in Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, before heading to the town of Moshi at the foot of the mountain. The next morning they would begin the ascent via the Machame route, taking around eight days in total.
Preparation for the trek has already started, including taking long hikes through some of the UK’s most hilly regions over the summer. But with altitude sickness being one of their biggest fears, it was going to be hard to feel completely prepared. However, this wasn’t stopping them looking forward to the challenge:
“We’re looking forward to hopefully seeing some amazing views and perhaps some wildlife too!” said Alex.
To support the two Alexes in their Mount Kilimanjaro challenge visit their JustGiving page.
Teenagers and young people are one of the most at-risk groups of contracting meningitis. Read about our Students and Young People Campaign for more information.