'You'll be in wheelchair' - Woman, 60, defies consultants to climb mountains

Marion Pentney

Marion Pentney, 60, is raising money for Marie Curie, an end of life charity, by taking on the Three Peaks Challenge in Yorkshire. Here she is pictured training on the Norfolk Broads. - Credit: Submitted

A 60-year-old woman who was told she would be in a wheelchair by now is now preparing to walk three mountains in one day.

Marion Pentney, who lives in Freethorpe, will be taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge next Saturday, June 26.

She is hoping to raise money for Marie Curie, an end of life charity she works for as a healthcare assistant in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Marion and Deane Pentney

Marion and Deane Pentney will be taking on the Three Peaks Challenge in Yorkshire on June 26. - Credit: Submitted

When she was 35, Ms Pentney was diagnosed with rhematoid arthritis and told she would be in a wheelchair by the time she turned 60.

She said: "When my husband heard this, he said, 'You don't know how stubborn she is'. I was detemined to prove them wrong."

Still, her arthritis was so bad that she had to stop working and she lost her independence. By the time she was 43, she started to lose her sight in one eye.

Her hospital asked her if she’d like to try a new drug to help the condition and she said yes and hasn’t looked back since.

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Despite her progress, a consultant told her four years ago she would never be able to run or walk long distances.

"But now I can run four miles without stopping and two weekends ago I walked 25 miles," Ms Pentney said.

During the first lockdown, she ran four miles in her back garden. "After about 80 laps, I lost count," she said.

Her decision to take on the Three Peaks came about when she received a phone call on Mother’s Day from her son Deane, 39, who talked about doing the challenge himself.

Deane Pentney

Deane Pentney, 39, persuaded his mother, Marion, to take part in the Three Peaks Challenge. - Credit: Submitted

By the end of the phone call, Ms Pentney had also signed up to do it too.

She wanted to thank Jules Wilson at Norfolk Boven Therapy and Stephen and Kim Snowling, who run the Fitness at the Street gym in Lingwood.

She said: "I feel quietly confident about the challenge although the rocks may be a bit slippy so I will also be using walking poles to help.

"I just want to ask people to donate to our just giving page because for me this really is going to be a massive challenge," she added.

The Just GIving page, which has so far raised more than £1,000, can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/deane-pentney