FORMER Scotland star Willie Henderson is setting off on a trek through the Indonesian jungle today to raise funds for the charity set up by his late daughter.
Michelle Henderson passed away last October at the age of 28, following a two-year battle with cervical cancer.
Before her tragic death, the former model and athlete, who also had an honours degree in journalism, set up The Michelle Henderson Cervical Cancer Trust, which aims to educate other women of the dangers of the disease.
It also raises money for medical equipment, research and support for sufferers and their loved ones.
Mr Henderson, who lives in Broxburn, West Lothian, will lead a group of 22 people on a climb of Mount Krakatoa, which is still an active volcano.
The group will also trek through the Indonesian jungle in aid of the charity, which is run entirely by volunteers.He said: “First and foremost, myself and my wife Veronica would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported, and continue to support the Trust.
“Michelle wanted to raise funds to buy much-needed medical equipment for local hospitals and this is where the money raised by the trek will go.”
The idea for the eight-day fundraiser first came about after Mr Henderson took part in a 100-mile trek across the Gobi Desert two years ago.
He said: “The trek was to raise money for the Davie Cooper Centre, which was set up in his memory after he died of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 39, and Motor Neurone Disease, which Jimmy Johnstone succumbed to.
“Once we’d done that, some of the people who’d been involved said they wanted to do another trek in aid of Michelle’s charity.”
Mr Henderson, who was one of Rangers’ star players in the 1960s, has been training hard for the past nine months to prepare for the challenge, but admits he is still apprehensive about the jungle.
He said: “I lived in Hong Kong for a time, so I’m used to heat and humidity, but I’ve never been in the jungle before.
“We’ve all been to seminars explaining about all the different creatures and types of terrain we may encounter but it’s still hard to know what to expect.
“The trekkers are already close to their target total of £10,000. Anyone who wishes to donate should visit the Indo United Fundraising Page on the Virgin Money Giving website.”
Mr Henderson added: “All Michelle wanted was to help people who found themselves in the same situation she did and I’m determined that that is what we will continue to do.”
Fiery island that still smoulders
THE name Mount Krakatoa (or Krakatau to the Indonesians) refers to the volcanic island itself, plus the surrounding island group. The island was once home to three main volcanic cones called Perboewatan, Danan and Rakata.
The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa – which took place over two days at both Perboewatan and Danan – resulted in an explosion, which completely destroyed Perboewatan, and was reportedly heard up to 3000 miles away, making it the loudest sound heard in living memory. More than 36,000 people were killed, mainly due to the tsunami’s which followed.
Volcanos around the island continue to be active, with the most recent eruption occurring last September.