Trekker ready for new heights
A deaf trekker is hoping to drum up cash for charity by taking on the world's highest mountain.
Istiaq Hussian, 37, is limbering up for a climb to Mount Everest's Base Camp in aid of Penny Appeal's Rebuilding Pakistan Appeal.
The 37-year-old of Lye, Stourbridge, is raising funds after countless villages including Kamar Mashani in Punjab, were swept away by the devastating floods that followed the monsoon rains in July last year.
They killed at least 1,700 people, leaving more than six million other homeless.
Speaking about the visit, he said: "I visited Pakistan in April, where family and deaf friends told me about the damage brought by the floods.
"My heart sank knowing that families have lost lives, homes livestock, and whole villages have been wiped out.
"It's impossible for me to come back home and carry on as normal. I have a good family life and a stable home which I am so grateful for, so I felt I needed to do something.
"I am looking forward to reaching Base Camp, which is a hard and risky challenge, and knowing that I have achieved my goal and raised as much money as I can will be a very proud moment for me."
At 5,360 metres, the Everest South Base Camp in Nepal offers a serious challenge for many as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Adeem Younis, Chairman of the UK-based Penny Appeal, said: "The Everest Base Camp trek is all about remembering the plight of the forgotten victims of the Pakistan floods.
"We're aiming to raise over £40,000 - enough money to build a small village of two bedroom houses, as well as to construct wells and distribute much needed aid packages."
The trek takes place from the 2nd to 18th December 2011 and Ishtiaq has set himself a fund-raising target of £3,500.
"It's a challenge that will leave the group with a lifetime of memories." added Adeem.
"Everyone who takes part in the trek will be making a very real difference to the lives of disadvantage people in Pakistan."
By Naumaan Farooq, firstname.lastname@example.org
WEDNESDAY 19 OCT 2011