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Woman facing leg amputation tackles mountain challenge

Nikki Bradley will be tackling four mountains, including Mount Errigal in Co Donegal, on her crutches. Credit: UTV

An inspirational young Donegal woman facing the amputation of one of her legs is hoping to become the first person to scale Ireland’s highest mountains on crutches.

Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, left Nikki Bradley without the use of her right leg.

The 31-year-old knows losing the leg completely is on the horizon, but is simply using that as an added incentive to make the most of things now.

“I was told last year that I will probably face a full right leg amputation – that’s a huge thing for anybody to be told,” Nikki told UTV.

“At the same time though, I’m confident that’s not going to happen today or tomorrow.

“And I think that it’s actually given me more motivation to seize the day and do as much as I can now, while I have both legs.”

She is aiming to complete the mammoth task of scaling four peaks in just 24 hours, and raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

I’m not going to lie, I’m nervous – this is going to be, by far, the biggest thing I’ve ever done.

– Nikki Bradley

Starting at 6am on Saturday, Nikki will be tackling Carrauntoohil in Co Kerry, then Croagh Patrick in Co Mayo, Slieve Donard in Co Down and finally Mount Errigal in Co Donegal.

Transportation, including a helicopter, will be on stand-by to get her from location to location.

Much as she is looking forward to the challenge, it will be a battle for Nikki.

Radiotherapy destroyed the bone in her hip and has left her having to cope with a lot of pain.

“I’ve had two hip replacements, and now obviously have to walk with crutches,” she said.

“There’s a lot of weakness in there, a lot of pain, nerve damage … You name it, I have it. So going uphill is extremely difficult.”

Nikki has plenty of experience though – two years ago, she conquered a snowy Mount Errigal on her crutches and, since then, she has also scaled a glacier in Iceland.

She has even completed the SAS’s toughest training route, determined not to be held back at all by her crutches.