Jackie smoked 20 fags a day and had only climbed a set of stairs ...now she’s tack­ling Mount Kil­i­man­jaro

Mum-of-three will step out for char­ity

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page - Kirsty McKen­zie

A mum- of- three who smoked 20 cig­a­rettes a day and had never stepped in a gym is putting her best foot for­ward for char­ity... by climb­ing the high­est moun­tain in Africa.

Jackie Dierikx, from John­stone, will scale Mount Kil­i­man­jaro next month to raise money for Find­ing Your Feet - an or­gan­i­sa­tion that sup­ports fam­i­lies af­fected by am­pu­ta­tion or limb dif­fer­ence.

The 55- year- old, who runs the Cof­fee and Cream cafe in How­wood, ded­i­cated her­self to fundrais­ing for the char­ity founded by her friend Corinne Hut­ton.

Quadru­ple-am­putee Corinne, from Lochwin­noch, suf­fered acute pneu­mo­nia and sep­ti­caemia in 2013 and sur­geons were forced to am­pu­tate both her hands and her legs below the knee.

Jackie said: “Corinne is amaz­ing. She was first fe­male quadru­ple am­putee in his­tory to climb Ben Ne­vis and Kil­i­man­jaro has al­ways been on her bucket list.

“When she asked me to join her team of sup­port­ers and do Kil­i­man­jaro with her I thought she was crazy.

“I told her ‘I’m in my fifties, I’ve smoked for 40 years and the only thing I’ve ever climbed are the stairs in my house’.

“But then I thought, if she is do­ing this with­out her hands or legs, if have to push my­self to make an ef­fort.”

Since tak­ing on the chal­lenge, Jackie has com­pletely turned her life around and now trains three times a week at How­wood gym.

“I went to the gym to ask for ad­vice and trainer Matt But­ler told me he would spon­sor me but in­stead of giv­ing me money he would train me for free,” she ex­plained.

“He was the one that told me to stop smok­ing and I haven’t had any nico­tine in six months. I owe it all to him, re­ally.”

Also keep­ing Jackie mo­ti­vated is her lit­tle dog, Prince.

The white staffy joins Jackie on all her climb­ing ad­ven­tures and has been with her ev­ery step of the way.

Jackie said: “Ben Ne­vis was the first moun­tain I’d ever climbed, which I com­pleted in June the day be­fore my 55th birth­day with Prince by my side.

“I al­ways joke that peo­ple are spon­sor­ing him not me.”

Though Prince won’t be part of the 11-strong team con­quer­ing Kil­i­man­jaro come Oc­to­ber 1, Jackie is hop­ing that it won’t de­ter peo­ple from giv­ing gen­er­ously to the char­ity.

She said: “The first rea­son I said yes to this was be­cause Corinne is my friend and I’ve seen watch she’s gone through phys­i­cally and psy­cho­log­i­cally.

“But since she started Find­ing Your Feet five years ago, I’ve also seen her change the lives of oth­ers.”

 To spon­sor Jackie and Corinne, please go to my­do­nate. bt. com/ fundrais­ers/jacque­linedierikx2.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Find­ing Your Feet, visit www. find­ingy­our­feet.net.

Team­work Jackie with fel­low climbers

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