A STRABANE man is getting ready to conquer the mighty mountains of Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh.
What makes Dave Aitken’s challenge unique is that he is hoping to summit the two highest peaks in Ulster within a matter of hours.
Dave is the first to admit he’s “not a fit man” but is taking on the task to raise funds for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust who are currently offering support to his little nephew Dylan and his family.
Dave explained, “My nephew Dylan (McCarron) was born with a serious heart condition 12 weeks ago. He faces open heart surgery and will require a fair bit of treatment.
“I was feeling pretty helpless as there’s not much I can do to help Dylan at this stage, it’s all in the hands of the doctors, so I thought I would do something to help the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.
“It’s a local charity which helps families of children with heart disease and are currently offering support to my sister Ciara and her husband Chris. It works closely with the Clark Clinic at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children to ensure that children with heart disease and their families receive the best care, treatment and support possible. From practical support such as help with travel or accommodation if a child has to go for an operation, helping with counselling and paediatric first aid, and they even have some caravans available to offer families a much needed break.”
So come Sunday, August 25 Dave will don his walking boots and tackle the mighty mountains.
Hoping to start summiting Donard at around 7am before moving on to Commedagh, the Carlton Drive native has set himself a target of completing the climb in five-and-a-half or six hours… as he needs to be back down to watch Man City in action later that day.
Although he says he’s not very fit Dave is positive he won’t fall in to the trap which TV presenter Stephen Nolan did and find himself calling for Mountain Rescue to help him get back home.
•To help Dave raise much needed funds for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust go to www.justgiving.com and search for David Aitken.