Brian Blessed backs Afghan war veteran fundraising to become first double amputee to climb Kilimanjaro

A 31-year-old Afghan war veteran who is aiming to become the first double amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro has had his crowdfunding campaign backed by Yorkshire legend Brian Blessed.

Double amputee James Rose is fundraising to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

James Rose, 31, is crowdfunding on JustGiving to become the first unaided military double amputee to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The funds raised will support Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion. The campaign is being backed by actor and all round Yorkshire legend Brian Blessed, as well as numerous GB athletes.

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James is aiming to raise £30,000 on crowdfunding platform JustGiving to help achieve his goal of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Double amputee James Rose is fundraising to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Joining the army in January 2008, James was posted to Afghanistan the following year. On patrol in November 2009, James heard a pressure plate (IED) click and he knew in a split second that his life was going to change. The results were devastating, a broken pelvis and tail bone and worse of all, the loss of both legs above the knee.

James said: “As reality hit home, I became extremely frustrated. Would I be able to walk again with prosthetics? Would I need a wheelchair for the rest of my life? At the heart of this was my love for football, which I knew I could never play again.

"This led to depression and anxiety, and I’m very grateful for my family’s support in this. I was determined not be beaten by the injuries sustained defending my country and decided to pursue my passion for fitness that I had prior to my injury”.

In 2018, James applied for the prestigious Invictus Games, and was selected to represent Team GB in Wheelchair Basketball and Sitting Volleyball in Sydney, securing Silver and Bronze medals. As a result of this success, James is now a full-time basketball player and trains every week.

During the Games, James met former RAF Corporal, Darren Young who suffers from a spine and shoulder injury, and both decided to set themselves their next challenge: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

“We’re both incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received so far on JustGiving, having raised £4,422 of our £30,000 target," James said.

He added: "Sport challenges and the training involved have not only helped keep me fit physically, but also mentally, allowing me to gain confidence and help deal with depression and anxiety.

"Our team of five have dealt with / currently dealing with PTSD, anxiety and depression – those who have left the military/RAF and our loved ones who have been there to support us and also been affected.

"This is the next big challenge, and we couldn’t do it without the generous donations made on our JustGiving page. Through this, we hope to raise awareness of mental health issues, and support two fantastic causes, Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion”.