A TEENAGER is planning to trek to Everest basecamp in a bid to raise money and awareness for cancer.

Jenna Poynter will be spurred on by the loss of her grandfather Ronald Thompson, who died of stomach cancer in November 2014.

The 17-year-old starts her 14-day trip to the iconic Himalayan mountain on October 6 in Nepal, but she will have to overcome a 70-mile course in altitudes of more than 5,500 meters.

She explained: "I decided to do this as a personal challenge. I don't tend to do much walking, so my friends were very surprised to hear about the trek.

"I am getting a little bit nervous, but knowing that I am raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support will keep me going.

"I know the sense of achievement when I reach Everest basecamp is going to be incredible."

The Maiden Erlegh School pupil has been preparing for the daunting challenge by teaching children's exercise classes and trekking mountains during a recent family holiday to Malaysia.

Macmillan research suggests more than 5,000 people in Wokingham are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Everest basecamp is 5,545m above sea level, with the peak coming in at 8,848m, which means Jenna will be climbing more than half the height of world's highest mountain.

The Macmillan Berkshire Cancer Rehabilitation service plays an active role in helping those who are told they have cancer and advisors have helped unlock more than £85,000 in benefits.

Jenna added: "My parents are really proud of me for taking on such a difficult challenge, especially because I am doing it in memory of my grandad.

"The Macmillan nurse looked after him when he was ill and after he passed away they continued to support us.

"Macmillan Cancer Support helps so many people in the area and I am doing this to give something back and to help them support even more families.

"Fundraising is hugely important to them. Without people running marathons and climbing mountains, Macmillan would not exist."

Jenna aims to raise £500 with her trek and you can visit https://justgiving.com/fundraising/jenna-poynter to make a donation.