In October 2016, 47 year old Steve Butterworth took on a challenge that was a far cry from his everyday working life as a quantity surveyor – he chose to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world.

Ten months previously, on New Year’s Day 2015, Steve’s dad was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart problem. After an eleven day stay in Southmead Hospital, he was transferred to Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) for a heart valve replacement, a major operation that involves open heart surgery to treat problems with the aortic valve – the valve that controls blood flow around the body.Reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

Having always wanted to take on a challenge like this, Steve booked himself onto a seven day trek and decided to use this as an opportunity to fundraise for Above & Beyond, in order to thank the BRI for the care that they gave his dad.

“The care he received leading up to, and during his stay at the BRI was fantastic and seeing as I had thought about undertaking the trek anyway, I thought it would be a great idea to try and raise money for Above & Beyond so that they could continue the great work that they do.”

The entire trip was funded by Steve himself, originally setting a fundraising target of £500, but since coming back to the UK in November, he has completely surpassed that and is now on over £800 and counting, an absolutely incredible achievement!

Fundraiser treks Mount Kilimanjaro for Above & Beyond

Speaking about the trip, Steve said:

"We started training in January to be ready for the trek in October which was really good as it made the trek much more bearable. Afterfive days trekking we were woken before midnight for breakfast and final briefing before setting off for the summit. After a six hour trek in freezing conditions we made the summit exactly as the sun rose. After all that effort the view and scenery was absolutely stunning. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.”

A huge thank you to Steve who has done so much to help others like his dad. His contribution will help the BRI continue to deliver life-saving care.

To find out how you can take on your own challenge of a lifetime, click here.