Torphins doctors to take on Kilimanjaro

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A Deeside husband and wife - both doctors - are to scale Africa’s highest mountain for charity.

Torphins-based GPs Chris and Rebecca Mercer will undertake the nine-day trek to Mount Kilimanjaro - the roof of Africa - in June, accompanying a group of 28 participants as team doctors.

Mount Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania and stands at a height of 5,895m (19,341ft, around 4.5 times the height of Ben Nevis.

Such high altitude can be dangerous and as well as treating blisters, diarrhoea, bites and sprains, the pair will have to deal with acute altitude sickness which can be fatal if not spotted early and treated correctly. Some participants have health problems, including heart conditions, which will make the doctors’ role even more important.

In addition to working as medics, the couple will be raising money for Sense Scotland - the national charity of deafblind and severely disabled children and adults. It provides round-the-clock care for children and adults with severe disabilities and helps provide resources across Scotland including children’s holidays, music, art and drama.

Sense provides 24-hour care for Rebecca’s sister, Ruthie, who was born deaf and blind, with severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviour due to Rubella. This was caused by Ruthie’s mum contracting German measles when she was eight weeks pregnant - a condition which is now rare since the introduction of the MMR vaccine, but there are many other causes of deafblindness.

To support the Mercers, visit, text the word MERC62 plus the donation amount to 70070, or donate at the surgery,