A Derby professional is trekking more than 100km on one of the world’s most famous trails to raise money for a charity which battles the disease that is the UK’s biggest killer.
Siman Preston, Group Property Manager at construction firm G F Tomlinson, is embarking on the 10-day Inca Trail and Rainbow Mountain Trek in Peru to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society, which assists the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.
Beginning in the city of Cusco, the trail snakes through the Andes mountain range and hits altitudes of more than 4,200 metres above sea level before reaching its finale at Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
After completing the trail, Me Preston will then take on Vinicunca – known colloquially as the Rainbow Mountain – which is notoriously hard-to-reach and requires several days of hiking, topping out at 5,200 metres above sea level.
“The challenge is a gruelling one, both in terms of the distance walked and the altitude reached,” he said.
“Most people begin to feel symptoms of altitude sickness at about 2,400 meters, and this can be heightened by the speed of ascent, so I’m under no illusions about how tough it will be.
“The crux of the matter is that one-in-six people over the age of 80 suffer from dementia, as do 70% of those living in care homes, so it is a disease that most people will encounter at some point of their lives, either for themselves or with loved ones.
“This challenge is designed to raise as much money as possible to help the fight against the disease. Completing it successfully would be a huge achievement, and I’m very grateful for the support given by G F Tomlinson and all those that have donated so far.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting 62 per cent of those diagnosed. The Alzheimer’s Society says that 225,000 will develop dementia this year – one every three minutes – with the overall number of sufferers set to rise to more than one million by 2025 and two million by 2051.
Andy Sewards, Managing Director at G F Tomlinson said: “We’re proud to support Siman in this monumental undertaking. This challenge will raise vital funds for the fight against dementia, which is ahead of cancer, cardiovascular disease and strokes as one of the main causes of disability later in life.
“People across the business are regularly fundraising for local and national charities to help support the lives of the communities our staff and families live in.
Click here to donate in support of Siman’s fundraising efforts.