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Mountain trek in memory of loving mother

PUBLISHED: 14:25 08 September 2010

Tina and Ray Chidgey prepare to climb Mt Kilimanjaro for Meningitis research

Tina and Ray Chidgey prepare to climb Mt Kilimanjaro for Meningitis research

Archant

A couple will tackle Africa's tallest mountain in memory of a mother-of-two who died suddenly from meningitis.

Ray, 57 and Tina Chidgey, 49, of Pelham Road, Northfleet, are due to join relatives of Zoe Hogan, originally from Meopham, in scaling Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in just over a month.

In preparation the pair are taking on regular four hour hikes in the countryside but admit the unknown of altitude sickness and the difficulties of climbing the 5,882 metre summit are quite daunting.

Mrs Chidgey, a foster carer, said: “We are really excited and looking forward to it, but it is a bit nerve-wracking. The main thing is we just hope we can make it as apparently only 60 per cent of people succeed.”

Ms Hogan was 35 when she contracted meningitis and septicaemia on January 1 this year, leading to multiple organ failure. She died three days later leaving behind daughters aged six and nine.

Shocked family and friends have gathered together to raise awareness of the disease and Mr and Mrs Chidgey are expected to join 14 others on the six day trek on October 15.

She added: “I didn’t actually know her but I am close friends with some of her relatives and we wanted to show our support.”

To join the expedition the couple, who have never gone mountain climbing, must raise £3,600 and to help this they are hosting a back to school disco at Istead Rise Community Centre from 7.30pm on Saturday. With only £1,000 each they know they must raise another £5,000 in the next month.

“Sometimes with these things half the money goes to the travel operators but we are paying our own way so every penny will go to charity,” said Mrs Chidgey.

Disco tickets are available on the door for £10 or call 01322 227891. Those wishing to donate should visit www.justgiving.com/rayandtinachidgey

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