Brother of Stevenage doctor killed in Afghanistan finally completes Three Peaks Challenge in her memory

PUBLISHED: 08:30 20 June 2018

Andy and Lois Woo reached the peak of Snowdon in just under three hours. Picture: Courtesy of Andy Woo

Andy and Lois Woo reached the peak of Snowdon in just under three hours. Picture: Courtesy of Andy Woo

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The brother of an aid worker shot dead by Taliban while in Afghanistan has finally completed the Three Peaks Challenge in her memory, having been forced to abandon last year’s attempt after climbing two of the mountains.

Doctor Karen Woo, who grew up in Stevenage and was a pupil at The Barclay School, was one of 10 aid workers killed in 2010 while working with medical charity International Assistance Mission.

They were ambushed and executed while returning to Afghanistan’s capital Kabul following a mission helping youngsters with eye problems.

Karen’s brother, Andy, and a team of his work colleagues from Sky decided to scale the UK’s three tallest summits in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours last August to raise money for the Karen Woo Foundation, Cancer Research UK and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The Karen Woo Foundation is a grant-giving charity set up in memory of the 36-year-old, focusing on supporting projects in Afghanistan which provide healthcare to communities which have little or no access to basic medical provision.

Andy scaled both Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike, but ran into difficulty on Snowdon – with his legs cramping – and made the heart-wrenching decision to turn back.

Andy, together with his wife Lois, have now returned to Snowdon and climbed to the summit.

He said: “For me, it was unfinished business. With the thought of all the people who had sponsored me last year, and the continued inspiration of Karen driving the foundation – and all the great work we’re able to support – I felt I owed it to everyone to at least get to the top of all three, even if there was a gap in between.

“I wanted to show I hadn’t given up, and I do intend to take on all three in one go again.”

He continued: “While I was proud to have done it, it felt bittersweet as I still felt disappointed I hadn’t completed it last time.

“However, I was happy to have at least climbed all three, and was so proud of Lois, who I’m now trying to encourage to join me when I take on all three again.”

The team raised £21,000, which has been split equally between the three charities.

For more about the Karen Woo Foundation, visit www.karenwoofoundation.org.

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