Hiker completes Pacific Crest Trail for charity

Keen hiker Harry Firth, from Heaton, Northumberland, has raised almost £1,500 for Prostate Cancer UK by completing the 2659-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico in July this year

Harry, who was inspired by his partner’s father’s ongoing battle with prostate cancer, successfully completed his trek on 27th October. Encountering some spectacular sights on his once-in-a-lifetime adventure, including bears, mountain lions and tarantulas, Harry hiked through a heat wave in North California, as well as crossing the Sierra mountain range summiting Mt Whitney and ambling across the Mohave Desert.

Harry said: “I have always had a huge love of the outdoors thanks to my upbringing. My parents always encouraged me to play on my bike or climb trees, and as I got older my taste for adventure just kept on growing. Ever since I thought about the Pacific Crest Trail I wanted to do it for charity.

“I chose Prostate Cancer UK as my future father-in-law, Charlie, has been battling this disease since 2011. However, despite this ongoing battle, Charlie still manages to live life to the full and make the best of a bad situation, which is truly inspiring and is what motivated me to finish this trek and raise as much money as I can. The support of my family and fiancé has also been incredible. I couldn’t have got through the dark times without them.

Charlie Merson, Harry’s future father-in-law, said: “I am honoured and delighted that Harry decided to raise awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer UK with this enormous challenge. As someone who has been going through prostate cancer for many years, I understand the importance of spreading the message of this terrible disease. I am even more pleased that he has decided to become my son-in-law. As a keen walker, my only regret is that I was not able to walk part of the trail with him, but I was always there with him in spirit and I am truly proud that he has completed this remarkable journey.”

The substantial sums raised by Harry will help ‘shift the science’ and crack the three core issues of diagnosis, treatment and prevention, which have been left unsolved for too long. It will also help provide support and information to those affected by the disease, like Charlie and his family. Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored. One man will die from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK. That’s over 11,000 men a year. Based on current trends, if we ignore prostate cancer and do nothing, this number will rise to over 14,500 men a year by 2026.

Harry plans to auction off some of the stunning pictures he took during his trek to raise further funds. You can still sponsor him via: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/harryfirth

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