Aurèlie Dias in front of the mountain she intends to climb. / SUR

The only way is up

Eleven-year-old Aurèlie Dias plans to climb La Concha this weekend in aid of a family friend who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis

ASH MAER

A plucky British youngster is hoping to raise 1,000 euros for charity by climbing to the peak of Marbella's La Concha mountain this Saturday (22 January).

Aurèlie Dias is taking up the challenge in aid of family friend Sarah who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis.

The 11-year-old will be joined by her dad for the challenge that will see all funds donated to Sarah - who lives in South Africa.

Aurèlie, who lives in Behahavís, said: "Sarah lives with many health conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. This means Sarah is in constant pain and unable to get free medical help in South Africa. Sarah's sister has set up a fund to help Sarah get the medical attention she so desperately needs, and I would like to help raise money for Sarah!"

At 1,215 metres above sea level, La Concha - which means 'shell' in Spanish, but is actually an impressive mass of limestone - marks the western point of the imposing Sierra Blanca mountain range.

Aurèlie added: "I intend to approach the mountain from the Istán side and climb to the top, with help from my dad. Any help in sharing my challenge would be awesome, and any donations would be wonderful! I would like to reach €1,000 and I hope that by doing this I am able to make a difference in Sarah's recovery and raise awareness of rheumatoid arthritis and the pain it causes."

Aurèlie's mum, Alison Dias, told SUR in English: "Our lovely village has been amazing! Everyone has been so supportive and have come together to help Aurèlie. She has taken her sponsor form to the neighbours' houses and has had a great response. Her older sister Anaïs also helped with getting the sponsors and she designed the digital posters. So much support it's amazing!"