THE friends and family of a young dad who died after a battle with cancer have taken on their own battle – up England’s highest mountain – to help secure his sons’ futures.

Tom Anderson, from Horsley, died earlier this year aged only 32, after being diagnosed with melanoma in 2016, leaving behind wife Anneka and his sons Harry (4) and George (2).

Having already raised nearly £5,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice, where Tom spent some time before he died, Anneka joined 13 of Tom’s friends and family on one of the wettest and windiest days of the year so far, to reach the summit of Scafell Pike.

This time, the fund-raiser, suggested by some of Tom’s closest friends, was to raise money for a trust fund for Harry and George.

“I think Tom would have felt happy knowing the money was going to the boys,” Anneka said. “He always wanted money put into a trust fund for their future.

“It’s amazing that they everyone has done this. I’m very thankful. It is one less thing to worry about when the boys are older.”

Tom’s diagnosis came when Anneka was pregnant. While she was getting her blood taken at the doctors she mentioned an itchy mole he had on his head. A few months after having it removed, he was told the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in his neck, and he underwent another operation to have this removed on his 30th birthday.

After baby George arrived, Tom was required to travel to hospital in Newcastle every day for six weeks for radiotherapy, but after another operation the family received the devastating news that the cancer had spread to his lungs, liver and spleen.

And despite taking medication to try and control the disease, in November 2018 they were told it had spread to his brain.

Anneka explained that during this time, Tom said he wanted to climb a mountain, but due to the winter weather they delayed it, and unfortunately he never got the chance. He died in June this year. “He wanted to do it, so we did it for him and left a stone on the top with #TogetherforTom written on,” said Anneka.

A climb up Ben Nevis was supposed to follow the Scafell Pike climb, but after facing 25mph winds and torrential rain, they put off their next challenge until September 14. They have already raised more than £1,000.

“We miss him so much” Anneka said. “Everybody talks about how nice he was – he was the nicest person. He was a typical builder with a cheeky character and he would do anything for anyone.”

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