Pair’s Nepal trek

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TWO Spen lads are preparing to embark on an arduous trek through the mountains of Nepal to raise funds for a leading cancer charity.

Former Whitcliffe Mount pupils Michael Cooper and Mark Habergham, both 26, will be tackling the tough trek in November and aim to raise £12,000 between them for Macmillan Cancer Support. The charity provides advice and support to cancer sufferers and their families.

Michael, who now lives in Birkenshaw, said the pair had never embarked on anything like this before.

“We are both at an age where we have steady jobs and we both felt it was time to do something good for an excellent cause,” Michael said.

“Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer or has personal experience of it.

“We also thought it would be good experience for both of us and to raise money for Macmillan at the same time.”

The lads are now putting in the miles to prepare for the trip, but are under no illusions about what they will be facing.

Michael said: “We didn’t want to do anything too easy.

“The charity does a number of fund raising excursions during the year. We chose Nepal because it’s not too hard.

“But it does mean up to 10 hours of walking per day and there is a risk of altitude sickness as well.

“It will be challenging and not a walk in the park.”

Mark, who lives in Liversedge, also faces a tough test due to a bout of pneumonia during his school days, which could make the trek even harder for him.

“When we were in school, Mark had to resit a year because he had pneumonia. But he’s okay now,” Michael said.

As well as the walking challenge, the fund raisers are planning to hold an event later this summer to help raise further funds.

While plans are still at an early stage, Michael hopes to include a charity raffle where local businesses can get involved to donate prizes.

The combination of jet lag, the high altitude and the route will prove a challenge, but the lads are taking it all in their stride.

Michael added: “It will be a brilliant experience. We started training and we plan on doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks this summer as well.

“The training will hot up as the summer goes along. We’re both really looking forward to it.”

A fund raising page has been set up at www.justgiving.com/michael-mark1 with further information about their plans and current amount raised.