A POLICEMAN is attempting to scale Europe's tallest peak in aid of two causes close to his heart.
PC Matthew Brady will try to climb Mount Elbrus in Russia's Caucasus Mountains this month - all 18,340ft of it.
The 44-year-old, who is a member of Hounslow Town Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT), is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and the British Heart Foundation.
Matthew was treated and cured of advanced recurrent Hodgkin's lymphoma 14 years ago, while a close friend died of cancer two years ago.
His father Ronald died last year, aged 81, after two decades spent battling heart disease.
Matthew will take on Mount Elbrus alongside his old friend Crispin Alan, with whom he attended Teddington School.
He is no stranger to climbing, having already scaled France's Mont Blanc; Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania - the world's highest free-standing mountain; Mount Aconcagua, in South America, and Slovenia's Mount Triglav.
While this may not be the tallest mountain he has climbed, the extreme weather - with temperatures reaching -40C at the top - mean it will be one of the hardest.
"I'm looking forward to the climb but it's not going to be easy. It will probably be the toughest climb I've done other than Mount Aconcagua," he said.
Matthew is due to fly to Russia today (Friday August 2). You can sponsor him via justgiving.com/Matthew-Brady1, for Macmillan, or justgiving.com/Matthew-Brady2, for the British Heart Foundation.