They climbed the highest mountain in Africa – the 20,000 feet Kilimanjaro – in October and raised £7,500 for the Freddie Farmer Foundation.
“I’ve become a close friend of the family over the years and known Freddie since he was born.” said Mark, 46, a painter and decorator. “We read about the Kilimanjaro climb on the internet and it seemed achievable so we went for it.”
“It’s the highest free-standing mountain in the world and we climbed the hardest route, four days up and two days back.
“We’d never done anything like it before but did some training in Ireland and really just went for it. There were 27 in the group and 20 of us made it.”
Mark, from Blackfen, added: “When we made it to the top it was very emotional. I do a little playful boxing with Freddie to get his arms moving. He’s a smashing lad.”
Freddie, who was born at 28 weeks with cerebral palsy, goes three times a year to a centre near Oxford for three weeks of intensive physiotherapy.
The money Mark and his friends raised will go towards Freddie’s campaign to raise £250,000 to set up a specialised physiotherapy centre in south-east England for Freddie and children like him.