Flat out to top of Everest …

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CLIMBING accident victim James Messer from Hawick is man on a mission to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

He has set himself the challenge of climbing the combined height of Mount Everest (8,848 m) and K2 (8,611 m), the two highest mountains in the world. This amounts 17,459 metres – and he plans to do it within 24 hours.

James – known as Sel – is unable to venture to the high altitudes because of injuries he suffered in the Highlands in February 1999. He will make his attempt at in the Think Fitness gym in Hawick’s O’Connell Street.

Sel’s diaphragm suffered nerve damage from a falling block of ice and does not function as effectively as it should. He also sustained nerve damage to his left arm which paralysed it. Sel also suffers chronic nerve pain, again as a result of the accident.

The gym has allowed Sel to train and carry out the challenge on one of its stepping machines free of charge.

Sel said: “Like many things in life, if it is not a worthy challenge it is not worth doing.”

He has great bunch of friends who have volunteered to help him during the challenge – ranging from encouragement to food and water for the 24-hour period.

The challenge takes place from 1pm on Friday, October 7, to 1pm the next day.

Visitors are welcome at the gym during the challenge to donate or provide support.

Donations can also be made by entering the web link – www.justgiving.com/everestandk2stepchallenge