3 challenges, 3 peaks, 3 weeks

(David Rodgers 1929 - 2013)

In 2005, David Rodgers lost the function in both his kidneys receiving treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) on the Renal and Dialysis units. This gave David another 8 years with his family. To say thank you for the outstanding care David received, David’s grandson, Mark Barber and his close friend, Chris Roberts, are taking on three ‘3 Peak Challenges’ over three weekends!

Mark Barber and Chris Roberts first planned to take on the 3x3 peak challenge between May and June 2020. Due to Covid-19, the pair unfortunately had to postpone, and a year later have ‘upped the ante’, testing themselves against three separates ‘3 Peak Challenges’ over the course of 3 weekends, to raise money for University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) Charity, and the Renal and Dialysis units at the QEHB. Their challenge begins on 22 May 2021, when Mark and Mark’s sisters partner, Chris, will be tackling the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge which include Pen-Y-Ghent, Whernside & Ingleborough in under 12 hours. This will see them doing 24 Mile, and a 1585m (5200ft) ascent. The following weekend, they will face the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge, climbing Snowdon, Cadair Idris & Pen Y Fan in under 24 hours; a total of 17 mile, and a 2334m (7657ft) ascent. And on the final weekend, 5 and 6 June 2021, Mark and Chris will complete their extraordinary challenge, taking on the National 3 Peaks Challenge. This includes the three biggest peaks in each country in less than 24 hours - Ben Nevis (Scotland), Scafell Pike (England) & Snowdon (Wales). In this they will climb 23 miles, and a total ascent of 3064m (10,052ft), and will also include 462 miles of driving!


(Mark Barber and Chris Roberts)

Speaking on why they chose this immense challenge, Mark said: “We are keen mountaineers, but this is something that will push us to our limits. And why do one when you can do all three? I hope we have not bitten off more than we can chew, it is going to be a challenge and a half. We do both really enjoy being out and about, walking up mountains. Apart from the ones in Yorkshire, we have done all the mountains individually before so, unfortunately, we know just how hard it’s going to be!”

The pair wanted to give back to the QEHB following the amazing care Mark’s Grandfather received between 2005 and 2013. David Rodger’s was a Father to three and a Grandfather to seven. As a business owner he looked after all who worked for him, and as a proud Freemason he did a lot of work raising funds for local and national charities. He was also on the committee of the Variety Club and helped improve the lives of many sick, disabled, and disadvantaged children. David’s kidneys lost function in 2005, however David received ongoing treatment on the Renal and Dialysis unit at the QE. This outstanding care gave David 8 years with his family, invaluable time. He died at the QEHB on Christmas Eve in 2013 with all his family by his side and the fantastic support from all the staff.

Speaking about this, Mark said: “We even had carol singers! I will always be eternally grateful. Time spent with the people you love is so very precious. I would like to be able to support them in the hope it helps give others the chance to have more precious time with their loved ones and receive the same outstanding care. My Grandad was nothing less than the finest man I have ever had the pleasure to know. He was a kind, caring and a very family orientated man. He was married to my Nan for 61 years (deserved a medal).”

Fundraising Officer for University Hospitals Birmingham Charity, Ellie Pocock said: “I am just in awe of the challenge that Mark and Chris have set themselves to raise money for UHB Charity, and in support of the Renal and Dialysis Unit at the QE. This challenge will see the pair climb a total of 22,900ft in just 60 hours – wow! Everyone at UHB Charity is so grateful for Mark, Chris and all their family and friends support, and we wish Mark and Chris the best of luck in this remarkable challenge.”

Despite having to postpone their fundraising, Mark and Chris have raised over £1,250 and are aiming to raise an amazing £2000 for the charity.

To support Mark and Chris in their challenge, and donate to their JustGiving page, click here.

And if you would like to take on a challenge of your own this summer, why not sign up to one of UHB Charity’s Snowdown challenges by clicking here.


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University Hospitals Birmingham Charity is a company limited by guarantee in England (No.10004003) and a charity registered in England and Wales (No.1165716).Registered Office: 5th Floor Nuffield House, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham B15 2TH

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