Two months after cancer all-clear, teenager sets off to conquer Kilimanjaro

Kai Sunley at the airport about to set off for Africa.
Kai Sunley at the airport about to set off for Africa.

An inspirational young Knaresborough man who has battled cancer flew out to Africa this week on the mission of a lifetime.

At the age of 17, Kai Sunley wants to give something back to the people who helped him, including Candlelighters.
Not that his recovery has been easy. Having been diagnosed with cancer in mid-2015 he was well looked after in Leeds General Infirmary.
The youngster was then given the all-clear following his chemotherapy but had to be called back in for radiotherapy before finally being given a clearn bill of health in December.
Kai decided to set himself the challenge of conquering Kilimanjaro this year, before returning to school to prepare for his A levels in September.
Kai said: “It’s not an easy challenge at all but it has been a personal goal for a long time but now is the right time to do it. Battling cancer for roughly half a year, I had something to prove to myself. Candlelighters helped me so much personally that I have to give back to such a great cause!”
The slogan on his specially-made T-shirt says it all:
I’m sure you can see it but the slogan on his T-shirt is:
“’Kai’s check list: Beat Cancer. Be Awesome. Climb Kilimanjaro.”
At 20,000ft, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in the whole of Africa.
Kai hopes to complete the mission in eight days.
Before setting off this week he was working all the hours he could, including doing odd jobs for his grandad to get extra cash together to travel.
Half the profits he raises through his arduous adventure will go towards Candlelighters, a charity that helps young people with cancer live a normal life.
The other half will go towards the Oncology wards in LGI and St James in Leeds.
Kai said: “The staff there are amazing and making the time a little easier for the young children is something worth climbing a mountain for.”
If you would like to donate to Kai’s charity mission, go online at