65 and I’m on the up

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MANY people might choose something memorable to mark their 65th birthday.

But not many people would chose to celebrate the same way as Blackpool grandmother Doreen Tomlinson.

The retired hairdresser plans to make the most of the landmark occasion by travelling to a global landmark and taking part in a fundraising challenge.

The grandmother-of-one will be celebrating her 65th birthday on top of a mountain in Peru, on October 19.

Doreen, of Knowsley Avenue, Marton, will be spending four days trekking across the Inca Trail in the Andes Mountains, to raise money for the North West Air Ambulance.

She said: “It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.

“And the North West Air Ambulance is such a good cause, I felt it would be good to do this challenge and to raise money for them.

“I thought being on top of a mountain for my 65th birthday would be a really different and memorable way to celebrate – and that’s what I will be doing.

“I do enjoy walking, though I’ve never done anything quite like this before.

“I’ve been training for it, going to the gym, doing lots of walking, playing golf and so on.

“My family and friends think I am a bit mad, but it’s something I have really fancied doing and will help charity at the same time.

“I’ve had great support, including from Fairhaven Golf Club and Lytham Rotary.”

Temperatures during the day in Peru will be scorching hot, but at night the temperature plummets and it becomes incredibly cold.

Those taking part in the trek will have to conquer three mountain passes, with an altitude of 4,200m.

They will also have chance to discover the stunning lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.

Doreen said: “The scenery will be stunning.

“There will be some beautiful views and incredible skylines.

“I think we will have donkeys helping us carry some of our gear, as we will need to take all our camping equipment.

“I don’t know anyone in the group yet, and will meet them for the first time at the weekend.”

She added: “The air ambulance is such a good cause and relies on donations.”

Doreen is no stranger to charity work. Four years ago, she went to help an orphanage in Mombasa.

She said: “It was fantastic. It was a wonderful experience and something else I had always wanted to do.”

To sponsor Doreen, log onto www. justgiving.com/ Doreen-Tomlinson.