A PENARTH man whose father beat an aggressive form of lung cancer is set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the cancer centre that cared for him.
Vince Jones, of Westfield Drive, will don his walking boots and tackle Africa’s highest mountain next week as a thank you to Velindre Cancer Centre for the treatment given to his father.
He said that his father had a “lucky escape” after they found the aggressive form of lung cancer during a scan about a year and a half ago.
“They were looking for something else and found cancer on his lung,” he said.
“It was growing really quickly when they found it and was doubling in size.
“They operated on him straight away and he had radiotherapy afterwards.
“After that they looked after him at Velindre and now he just goes back every three months for check-ups.”
Former St Cyres pupil Vince has been preparing for the arduous trek, which is set to take around ten days, for the last few months.
“I have been training up and down various mountains in the Brecon Beacons and making use of Penarth`s hills up from the marina and sea front, much to the dismay of my calf muscles,” he said.
“Training has been going well and I’ve climbed Pen y Fan about three or four times.
“I have been climbing the three peaks in the Brecon Beacons (Pen y Fan, Corn Du and Cribyn), and by the time you’ve come back again it means you’ve done six peaks in one day.”
Vincent, 50, added that he was “nervous and excited” about the trek but that he couldn’t wait to get started: “Physically I think I will be fine, but the hardest part will be getting used to the altitude as you can’t train for that and you don’t know how it’s going to affect you.
“Pen y Fan is 880m and you start climbing Kilimanjaro at 2000m, so there’s no comparison really.
“I’m going to take it as slowly as I can so hopefully it should work out.”
Vincent, a head teacher at a primary school near Aberdare, added that he was “amazed” by the amount of people that have been affected by cancer and received treatment at Velindre.
“Everyone seems to know someone that’s been there in some capacity,” he said.
Vince will leave for his Kilimanjaro trek on Wednesday, August 13.
You can sponsor him at justgiving.com/vincejones27