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Norman set for survivors’ climb

09:00 28 June 2014

Double amputee and cancer survivor, Norman Croucher 73, will be climbing the mountains in Chamonix to raise money for Exeter Hospiscare. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref ext 5160-25-14AW

Double amputee and cancer survivor, Norman Croucher 73, will be climbing the mountains in Chamonix to raise money for Exeter Hospiscare. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref ext 5160-25-14AW


Topsham mountaineer Norman Croucher is heading for the Alps this weekend to lead an inspirational party of climbers recovering from illness.

Norman, 73, has spent a lifetime inspiring people with his mountaineering exploits, having overcome losing both legs in his teens to conquer some of the world’s most treacherous peaks.

However, after recently surviving bowel cancer, he now has a new objective and, as a result, is planning to join other cancer survivors, diabetics and people who have recovered from other serious injuries as they aim to push themselves to the limit on the mountains.

Their initial target is to climb the 2525m Le Brevent and 3559m Le Grand Flambeau, although Norman says this may change depending on the ability of the rest of the party.

He said: “We may have to change the objectives depending on the weather and how people are. Those still undergoing treatment probably won’t be that strong.

“For me, it will be 12 months since a major operation for bowel cancer, and 21 months since diagnosis. The day I was diagnosed I started planning the trip. I wanted something to aim for physically and psychologically, and this has helped a lot.”

As well as hoping to inspire, the trip, for which Norman will be accompanied by his wife Jude and Wes Down, is also aiming to raise funds for Hospiscare.

Wes is joining the trip in memory of his late cousin, who was looked after by Hospiscare before he died.

Claire Bradford, a brain tumour survivor who was planning to join the trip, has had to pull out, however she has already raised around £580 regardless.

The total amount raised has already passed £3,500 before the trip has even set off, and Norman is hoping this figure still has some way to rise.

The party will be heading for the Alps on Sunday, June 29, returning on July 6.

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