A BUSINESSMAN whose son started suffering seizures as a baby is planning to scale Kilimanjaro to raise funds for research and awareness of the condition.

Chris Scoffield, of Dunnington, near York, said his son Edward was diagnosed at seven months old with Infantile Spasms (IS), a rare seizure disorder that occurs in children under the age of one.

He said he was now trying to raise £5,000 for two special charities, UKIST and Epilepsy Research UK, with his planned climb on Thursday up the mountain in Tanzania, which stands at 5,895 metres above sea level.

Chris, who is managing director of the rail & aviation business of construction company Galliford Try, said Edward was thankfully now seizure free, and he had decided to take on the feat to raise awareness and ‘give something back’ to the charities.

He said: “This will undoubtedly be one of the toughest physical and mentally challenging things I have ever done in my life, but something that I am determined to complete to raise awareness of IS and raise vital funds for these fantastic charities.

“When my son was diagnosed with IS, it was important for us to understand as much as we could about this relatively unknown condition. Early recognition of IS is key, as the longer the seizures last before they’re treated and controlled, the poorer the child’s development may be.

“Unfortunately, IS usually has a very subtle appearance, so it’s often difficult for parents to notice and very few GPs will recognise the symptoms. It was only through the persistence of my wife that we were able to get a referral for Edward to a neurologist and thanks to a new research study, he responded very quickly to the recommended treatment. To our surprise and against all odds, Edward now remains seizure free.”

*Sponsor Chris at www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/chrisscoffield.