Norfolk student up for charity award after conquering Kilimanjaro

A visually impaired south Norfolk woman, who conquered Africa's highest peak for charity, has been nominated for a national award.

Student Ella Chubbock is in the running for the Macular Disease Society's annual chairman's award in recognition of her efforts in raising almost �3,000 for the charity by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The 5,895m climb is difficult enough for most people, but the 20-year-old from Tivetshall St Margaret, is affected by a condition called Stargardt's macular dystrophy, which causes a loss of the central vision.

Miss Chubbock said the Macular Disease Society was a charity close to her heart and it took her eight days to trek to the top of Kilimanjaro last June.

She added that she was 'flattered' to be nominated for an award.

'It's touching to know that someone thought I was worth putting forward for it. I wanted to raise awareness of the condition; it's something very personal to me. I think the Macular Disease Society does some really great work and it needs to be supported so it can carry on,' she said.

Miss Chubbock, who was diagnosed with the eye condition in 2007, walked between five and eight hours a day for the Kilimanjaro climb and battled altitude sickness and fatigue to get to the top. She added that she would continue to fundraise for the charity.

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The deteriorating condition has resulted in the loss of her detailed central vision, which makes it difficult to read and recognise faces, even from a short distance.

'Completing the mountain climb was amazing, I met some great people and knowing I'd achieved this massive challenge was such a good feeling. I was so pleased with the amount of money I'd raised and I felt so lucky to have the support from my friends, family and even strangers who'd sponsored me,' she said.

Her nomination will be handed over to the judges, who will decide on the overall winners and present them with their awards at the society's annual London conference on September 17.

The Macular Disease Society was set up almost 25 years ago to support people with the condition, offering information, advice and funding research to find a cure. For more information, call the charity's help line on 0845 241 2041 or email help@maculardisease.org.

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