Doting dad on top of the world after conquering Kilimanjaro for charity which saved his little girl’s life - The Rugby Observer

Doting dad on top of the world after conquering Kilimanjaro for charity which saved his little girl’s life

Rugby Editorial 1st Nov, 2022   0

A DOTING dad has conquered the highest mountain in Africa to raise money for the charity which saved his little girl’s life.

Chris Hughes, 36, climbed to the summit of Kilimanjaro – within a week of running the London Marathon – to give something back to the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan after it helped his daughter Holly to beat leukaemia twice.

Chris was accompanied on the Kilimanjaro challenge by his 65-year-old dad Tony Hughes, and friends Sean Kibbler and Andrew Collett.

He said: “It was a crazy, amazing and at times torturous experience – but deserving of what Anthony Nolan did to save my daughter’s life and others like her.”

Holly was first diagnosed with leukaemia just days before her second birthday, and had to learn to walk again after two years of cancer treatment.

And at the age of six, Holly was diagnosed with leukaemia for the second time. Chris quit his job to spend more time with her during the seven-month illness which followed.

Holly’s only chance of survival was through a stem cell transplant. After a search on their register, Anthony Nolan found a perfect matching umbilical cord for her treatment last year.

Chris said: “I can remember that phone call. I can only imagine that feeling is what the best drug in the world must feel like, that euphoric feeling, to know that they have got a match for your child.”

Chris ran the London Marathon – in under four hours – and climbed Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about blood cancer as well as thank Anthony Nolan.

He is urging people – especially young healthy men aged between 16-30 – to join the Anthony Nolan register, to help save a life like Holly’s.

Like Holly, around 2,400 people need a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor in the UK every year to give them their best – or only – chance of survival.

Anthony Nolan works to encourage people to sign up as donors. Visit for more information on the charity.

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