Kilimanjaro climb for cancer charity

James Blick
James Blick

AN ENTREPRENEUR who owns the Lion Hotel in Belper has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for a charity that helped his son.

James Blick, the owner of the Finesse Collection which is a group of four hotels, two city centre bars, three fine dining restaurants and two gastro pubs, is raising cash for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

The charity is very close to his heart because, in 2003, James’s seven-month-old son Jacob was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, which is a rare, cancerous tumour of the retina.

Thankfully Jacob, after chemotherapy, hospital visits and minor operations, has recovered, although he has only peripheral vision in his left eye.

James, who climbed the 19,341ft high mountain in Tanzania with eight colleagues, said: “It is the least I can do, as I am in belated awe of the nurses, staff and all the work the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust do everyday for so many children suffering from such a terrible disease.”

What started in 2004 as a dinner and dance evening, raising over £25,000, is now a yearly pledge to raise as much as possible for his chosen charities.

James and a team of like-minded individuals have raised more than £150,000 in the past seven years.

In 2009, James cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats, covering 930 miles. Last year, he embarked on an international cycle that took him from London to Biarritz in France in eight days.

James added: “My aim, as always, is to raise valuable funds for our chosen charity. The funds will greatly benefit children in need of our help to eventually hopefully eradicate this terrible form of cancer.”

Childhood Eye Cancer Trust is fighting to find a cure for retinoblastoma and other related cancers which affect about 1,500 children a year.

To sponsor James go to www.justgiving.com/james-blick.