Husband with fear of heights gets ready to Tackle the Tower in thanks to Southend Hospital

A loving husband with a fear of heights is abseiling Southend Hospital’s 154ft high tower block to raise funds and thanks for an oncology unit, where his wife is receiving cancer treatment.

Roger Alexander, 60 from Benfleet, is one of this year’s brave fundraisers.  He will take on our ninth Tackle the Tower abseil challenge which gives participants the opportunity to raise money for a ward or department across Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust hospitals in Southend, Basildon and Broomfield.

Despite his hatred of heights, Roger is staying grounded about the upcoming event, for now at least, and put the challenge in to some perspective.

He said: “If my wife, Angela, can show the bravery she has shown tackling this cancer, then me tackling the tower to help raise funds for the unit that have given her such fantastic care is nothing in comparison.

“I cannot fault the team at Southend Hospital; my wife feels cared for and looked after by everyone from the oncologists, wonderful nurses and all the staff. Giving something back to them is the least I can do.”

Roger was inspired to take part in the abseil event, after seeing others take part last year.

Angela said: “For Roger to do this abseil means a lot, I know how much he dislikes heights.  We are both so thankful for the nurses and oncologists that look after me. I feel like one of the lucky ones; my treatment can make me feel a little tired and achy, but it means that I can lead the life I want to; I can join my walking group weekly and still go out shopping or for lunch with friends.”

Elise Fleetwood, Events & Corporate Relations Manager for Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity, said: “The money raised by the brilliant people taking part will make a world of difference and helps us to provide extra services and facilities for our patients, families and staff across our hospitals.

“We wish Roger the best of luck with the abseil and his fundraising – we’ll all be cheering him on, alongside the other people raising money on the day.”

Tackle the Tower, now it its ninth year, has seen over 500 adventure-seekers collectively raise over £200,000 for the Trust’s hospitals while they enjoyed the thrill of roping down from the hospital tower block.

This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday 18 May and already has dozens of supporters grabbing for those ropes and fundraising forms to take part.

Abseiling places are still available for those looking to take on a challenge whilst supporting their local hospital. No previous experience is necessary, although there is a minimum age of 14 to be able to register.

Registration is £45, which covers the cost of the abseil whilst funds raised will benefit the abseilers chosen ward, department, or hospital. For further information and to register: