Billy Jarvis of Romford prepares for Everest attempt in aid of Help for Heroes
A special constable from Romford is preparing to join two injured veterans on the climb of their lives – an attempt on the north face of Mount Everest.
Billy Jarvis will take on the challenge with Welsh veterans Sgt Darren Carew and L Cpl Pete Balker, along with 25-year-old stage manager Duncan Hook.
Both veterans lost legs below the knee following a bomb explosion in Afghanistan in 2008 – but are determined to prove they’re as fit as ever.
The team of four, three of whom reached Everest base camp during a Help for Heroes fundraiser last year, will again be raising money for the charity, which helps injured veterans and their families.
“Help for Heroes is such a worthwhile cause. Having friends in the military, and after my time training with the army, I’ve always thought highly of the charity,” said former Havering Sixth Form College student Billy, 22.
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“Everest is such a devil’s paradise – the views are breathtaking and once-in-a-lifetime, but with the views come altitude sickness, lack of oxygen, sleepless nights, sickness and Delhi belly.
“But I can honesty say it’s 100 per cent worth it, and I can’t wait to be on the mountain – this time with the summit as the goal.”
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Both Billy and Duncan are able-boded, but Sgt Carew’s amputation only took place three weeks ago after four years of painful mobility problems – so the group will be pacing itself at first, attempting smaller peaks before facing Everest’s 8,848m in early 2016.
But Billy is excited already. “I can only say that it hasn’t fully sunk in what we’ve signed up for,” he told the Recorder. “’Nervous’, ‘scared’ and ‘excited’ just don’t cut it.”