A well known Fife police sergeant is planning to scale new heights in his latest charity fundraiser by attempting to climb Africa’s highest mountain.
The ambitious challenge is police man, Don Sutherland’s, third and final fundraising challenge in support of cancer charity Maggie’s.
Having already raised £15,000 by cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End in just nine days, as well as completing a trek to the Arctic Circle, Don is now set for his hardest challenge yet.
The well-known and respected sergeant who was based in Glenrothes and latterly in Cowdenbeath, is set to retire in July after more than 28 years in the force.
Don, 61, will attempt to cover all 19,341 feet of the dormant volcano, to reach the peak of the world’s highest free standing mountain in just six days.
And for his efforts, Don is aiming to raise £5,000 which, if successful, will push his fundraising achievements beyond £20,000.
“It’s going to be my hardest challenge of the three but with a little luck and a lot of focus I’m sure I can make it to the peak,” Don said.
“I’ve purposely chosen difficult challenges that I’ve had to push myself both mentally and physically to complete as it’s only right that I have to go through the mill so that I can say I’ve truly achieved something.
“There are eight routes to the top – four of which are essentially for tourists – but I’ve chosen a climbing ascent and will attempt to complete it in six days.
“That will be a lot harder but it’s important that people know that if they are donating that I’ve earned their donation.”
Don will have to overcome the effects of altitude which can cause fatigue, nausea and sickness the higher you climb, due to less oxygen on the air.
“I’m lucky to have kept fit and healthy but I’m told nothing is going to prepare me for the affects of altitude,” he said.
“But I’m determined to complete it and really want to top the £20,000 raised.
Don will once more put himself through the pain barrier saying it’s his way of giving something back to Maggie’s, for all the support it gave him.
Don’s wife, Valerie, and his sister, Fiona, both died of cancer within months of each other.
Don said it was the marvellous work of the charity that helped him come to terms with the grief and loss at such a difficult time.
“The charity offers such amazing support not only people with the disease but also the family who are impacted by the trauma too, which people are often not aware of,” he said.
“In doing the Kilimanjaro challenge I want people to know how Maggie’s can support the wider family at such difficult time.
“The Maggie’s Centre in Kirkcaldy really was a sanctuary for me which is why I’m prepared to go all out and earn those donations for such a special organisation.”
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Don will attempt the Kilimanjaro challenge in September and is hoping to raise as much as possible for the charity.
Those wanting to make a donation can do so by going to the online donations page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/don-sutherland2