A HAMPSHIRE man is taking on the Three Peaks Challenge in a bid to help a ten-year-old girl win her battle to walk unaided.

The gruelling event involves trekking to the top of the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales – all within 24 hours.

Those taking part cover more than 25 miles of rough and rocky terrain as they tackle Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon.

Carl Meader has signed up for the challenge in a bid to raise vital cash for Keeley Cullen, of Marchwood.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Keeley suffers from cerebral palsy and has had a procedure known as selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).

Surgeons at the world-famous Great Ormond Street Hospital in London cut through the faulty spinal nerves that were responsible for the stiffness in her legs.

But despite the life-changing operation Keeley needs another two years of physiotherapy and rehabilitation, which is set to cost at least £20,000.

SDR and the follow-up treatment is not available on the NHS, which means families of children who need the procedure must fund it themselves.

Carl, 25, of Totton, said: “One day I decided to attempt the three peaks and signed up for it.

“I asked if anyone knew any charities or individuals I could raise money for. One of Zara’s friends contacted me and recommended Keeley.

“I’m doing a fair bit of fitness training, including running with weights, going out on long hikes and working out in the gym.

“I’ve never done anything as extreme as the Three Peaks before but I think it’ll be okay. The hardest part will be towards the end, when I’ll have been awake for 24 hours with no rest.”

Other fundraisers are also coming to Keeley’s aid.

A group of friends are staging a sponsored skydive on July 15 in a bid to help the schoolgirl achieve her dreams of walking unaided, playing in the park with her friends and becoming a cheerleader.

Zara said: “One of my friends told me that skydiving was a great way to raise funds.

“I put some information about the planned skydive on social media, expecting two or three friends to respond, and was surprised when I heard that seven of them wanted to do it.”

In a message posted online she added: “Keeley’s funds are extremely low. Without all the therapy she won’t progress any more and reach her wishes.”

Carl is taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge on June 19. To donate go online and visit justgiving.com/fundraising/3peaks4keeley.