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Simon Completes His Trek

Simon is photographed on the left with the backdrop of the Andes and on the right he meets some local youngsters.

A former Hethersett man has raised £4,500 for Multiple Sclerosis research from a once in a lifetime trek following the Inca Trail in Peru. 

Earlier this year we featured an article on Simon Cross’ preparations for the five day charity walk from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco to Machu Picchu which is nestled 16,500 feet up in the Andes. 

Simon’s journey was in memory of his mother Janet who died last year after suffering from MS for eight years. His trek was over rough terrain well away from the usual tourist trails: 

“We flew from Lima, which is a sprawling, uninteresting place, to Cusco and then got a bus as far as was practical into a remote area, well away from the tourist trail,” Simon said. 

At times Simon and his 19 “fellow travellers” were walking at three times the height of Ben Nevis in countryside where Llamas and Alpacas roamed freely. Their yellow tents attracted the attention of the isolated settlers and at one point a group of children raced over: 

“They had never seen white skinned people before and never seen a camera. They were amazed to see their image in a digital camera. They knew about football, however, and challenged us tent dwellers to a game. The match had to be approved by the village elder,” Simon said. 

The group eventually reached Machu Picchu where they joined other tourists for what Simon describes as “an unbelievable experience.” 

“It certainly wasn’t a walk in the park. This was a hard trek in heat and altitude, but it was worth every step for every pound raised. I am so grateful to the many people who donated so much money in memory of my mother,” Simon said adding that the trek had been a huge physical and emotional challenge. 

Simon, who is 26 and works as a broadcast engineer and new media developer for the BBC in London, paid for his own flights and living costs with all the money raised going to the MS Society. 

Simon’s father Ralph, who lives in Henstead Road, Hethersett, said he was very proud of his son’s achievement.

  Previous Stories regarding Simon

 

Ralph and Janet Cross are pictured above left and on the right is Simon who will be trekking across Peru in memory of his mother

A former Hethersett man is aiming to raise £5,000 for Multiple Sclerosis research in memory of his mother Janet by following the Inca Trail in Peru. 

Simon Cross, who is 26, will spend 13 days in Peru following the trail from the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco to Machu Picchu which is nestled 16,500 feet up in the Andes. The actual trek will take five days of up to eight hours a day in searing heat and high altitude. 

Simon will be paying for his own flights and living costs with all monies raised going to the MS Society in memory of his mother who suffered from the disease before her death in November last year. 

“My mother died due to complications from MS which she had been suffering from for eight years. I have witnessed at first hand what a terrible disease MS can be. After watching it affect someone it’s impossible not to do something to help,” said Simon who now works as a broadcast engineer and new media developer for the BBC in London. 

“My mother battled MS with such dignity that it was an inspiration to our family, friends and to me. It is this that has given me the motivation to do whatever I can to raise money to help anyone touched by MS. 

“I am aware that this challenge won’t be a walk in the park. This is a hard trek in heat and altitude and will be a huge physical and emotional challenge, but it will be worth every step of the way.” 

Simon will be leaving England on 18th September to join a group of between 12 and 30 people who will all be raising funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. 

Simon will kick off his fund-raising efforts with a barbecue on 26th May for a number of invited friends and acquaintances at his father Ralph’s home in Hethersett. He has also planned an Auction of Promises in London on August 18th. 

Simon can be sponsored on-line by clicking here. He has also set up a web site for his trip which can be accessed by clicking here.

News Update: June 12th, 2007

A barbecue at the home of Ralph Cross in Henstead Road, Hethersett, raised £1,400 towards his son’s charity trek in Peru. 

Simon Cross, 26, will be following the Inca trail to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society in memory of his mother Janet who died last November after suffering from the disease for eight years. 

Well over 100 people attended the fund-raising barbecue and there were also a number of individual donations. 

“It was a really successful event, the rain held off and Simon now has £4,200 towards the £5,000 he is aiming to raise,” said Ralph.  

Simon will be paying his own passage so that all money raised between now and the September start date will go towards MS research. 

Simon will be following the trail from the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco to Macchu Picchu. Simon has set-up a web site for his trip at www.simoncross.com/incatrailchallenge