Jack targets mountain trek in wife’s memory

Jack Beniston with his daughter Martha (8 months) of Stamford. Jack is fundraising for a Sue Ryder charity climb  up Kilimanjaro EMN-151002-232053009
Jack Beniston with his daughter Martha (8 months) of Stamford. Jack is fundraising for a Sue Ryder charity climb up Kilimanjaro EMN-151002-232053009
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A young widower from Stamford will be taking on ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity’ this year in memory of his wife, Michelle.

Jack Beniston, aged 22, from West Street Gardens, Stamford will be taking on a Sue Ryder trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and needs your help to raise £3,250 for a cause close to his heart.

The seven day trek which will take place in December will be in aid of Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall Hospice, a place which offered “outstanding care” for his wife, Michelle who sadly passed away in October last year.

Mum of four, Michelle Beniston, aged 33, spent her last few weeks being cared for at Thorpe Hall after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, shortly after the birth of their baby daughter, Martha.

Michelle was diagnosed with cancer after giving birth to their daughter, Martha, who is now eight months old. Michelle had to have an emergency caesarean section at Peterborough Hospital and soon after doctors found that she had a highly aggressive form of cancer in her womb.

On September 11, Jack received a call from the hospital saying that Michelle had taken a turn for the worse and was only expected to live for another 48 hours.

The hospital suggested the couple move to the Thorpe Hall Hospice the next day, so on that same day the couple decided to get married that afternoon in Peterborough Hospital.

On September 12 the couple moved to Thorpe Hall where Michelle battled against the odds and spent another four weeks in the arms of her husband.

Michelle sadly passed away on October 8 at the hospice with Jack by her side.

Jack said: “It has been a very difficult time, but the outstanding care that Thorpe Hall provided was second to none.

“They allowed me to stay at the hospice with Michelle for the full 28 days that she was cared for.”

Jack has until the end of October to raise a minimum of £2,600 to secure his place on the trek, which will involve a total of seven days trekking through rain forests, the lower mountain slopes to high alpine desert. The group of trekkers will aim to reach the peak just before dawn on New Year’s Day to catch the first sunrise of 2016.

Jack said: “This is an amazing opportunity and to be able to give that amount of money back to Thorpe Hall would be fantastic.”

Jo Killick, senior events fundraiser at Thorpe Hall said: “Jack’s family has experienced the incredible care that we deliver and we are so pleased we could be there for all of them at such a difficult time.

“Without his support and the support of others like him we wouldn’t be here for everyone who needs us. We look forward to supporting him through his training and fundraising!”

Jack, who has already taken on the Three Peaks challenge here in the UK, needs help from local businesses and the community to help reach his fundraising target.

He said: “I need all the help I can get to raise the money needed. If I don’t manage to raise the minimum amount I won’t be able to go.”

Westside Gym in Stamford has already offered to help Jack by giving him free one to one training to build him up so that he is ready to take on the challenge.

If you would like to help Jack reach his target you can make a donation online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JackBeniston or to contact Jack you can e-mail him at jack.beno@hotmail.co.uk or telephone 07580317879.

l Another fundraising event for Sue Ryder was held at Thorpe Hall, Longthorpe, near Peterborough on Saturday morning. For the full story turn to pages 24 and 25.