By Daniel Lynch & Tom Swain
A Leeds professor who has spent two decades studying Alzheimer’s will climb four mountains totalling 12,544 feet to raise money to help fight the disease.
Prof Chris Peers, 50, has been a researcher at the University of Leeds for 22 years and his studies into the degenerative condition have inspired him to raise £1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
“I’ve been involved with the Alzheimer’s Society a lot because they’ve supported some of our research, providing money for us to employ people in our labs who research the disease and its causes.
“Alzheimer’s funding in general is grossly under supported so they need fundraising of all kinds. I thought I would do this to celebrate a landmark birthday and do something worthwhile at the same time,” he said.
Despite admitting to being afraid of heights, Prof Peers will climb England’s four highest peaks – Helvellyn, Scafell, Scafell Pike and Skiddaw – in three days at the end of August.
“The Alzheimer’s Society run these events and look for volunteers, usually a couple of dozen every year, to raise money and take part- it’s all organised by the society.
“We are given three days to complete the challenge. We turn up bright and early on day one, climb the first hill and sleep in tents. On day two we climb two hills, camp again, and on the final day we climb the fourth before going home.
“I haven’t done any training whatsoever, but I’m fairly fit anyway. A few years ago I climbed Kilimanjaro and that was my holiday!”
Prof Peers said that Alzheimer’s research was something he is passionate about and he hopes his work can redress what he believes is an imbalance in the attention afforded to studying the disease.
“I’m acutely aware that Alzheimer’s Disease, and dementia in general, costs more than it costs looking after patients with cancer and heart disease combined and yet the amount of money that’s put into Alzheimer’s research is about a tenth of what those other diseases get.”
To donate to Chris, click here www.justgiving.com/chris-peers
More information about the Alzheimer’s Society charity and the four peaks challenge can be found here.