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Man with rare nerve condition climbs Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity

Credit: Geraint Williams

A man from Merthyr climbed Africa's highest peak to raise money for charity. Geraint Williams was diagnosed with Friedreich's ataxia - a rare nerve disorder - 11 years ago.

He used a special wheelchair known as a 'mountain trike' - a cross between a wheelchair and a mountain bike - to complete the climb up Mount Kilimanjaro a few months ago.

I thought obviously with my condition and diagnosis that things like that were impossible, but I saw a couple of other people with disabilities had done it...so I just thought yeah I'm doing this and went for it.

– Geraint Williams
Credit: Geraint Williams

As soon as we got to the top, they [our guides] just broke out into song.

The head guide had a bottle of champagne for me because it was actually my birthday as well the same day, but it was incredible...I'll never forget where I was on my 40th birthday.

– Geraint Williams

Around 10,000 people in the UK have Friedreich's ataxia - with 500 of them being children.

The charity Ataxia UK says the condition is so rare it's often not recognised or detected and there is no cure.

The disorder steals a person's central ability to communicate and walk and progresses quickly.

Credit: Geraint Williams

People keep using the word 'inspired', I don't quite see it like that it's just something I wanted to do and something I did, so if this can inspire other people, disabled or not, you know, if you've got a goal, if you want to do something...set your mind to it and focus and do it.

– Geraint Williams