A STORE supervisor who conquered autoimmune disease is preparing to conquer Mount Everest, raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

Debenhams worker Tracy Le Grys will be trekking to Everest's base camp, an ascent of 17,028 ft, next month as the latest on her long-list of charity fundraisers.

More than a decade ago the Little Horkesley resident was diagnosed with the condition, which is when the body's immune system weakens and becomes more prone to infection.

She spent around two months in hospital but found when she finally entered remission it gave her a new lease on life.

Mrs Le Grys drew up a bucket list of challenges, including already finished examples like a tandem parachute jump from 10,000 ft, a 100-mile cycle ride, driving a Ferrari and white water rafting.

But last year she signed up for her biggest challenge yet - the Everest trek in aid of Help For Heroes.

Her original target of £4,200 has been smashed and she now has £5,450 in the pot for the veterans' organisation.

Mrs Le Grys said: "Fundraising has sort of taken over my life.

"At the beginning you do not think you are ever going to get there.

"I broke it down to how much I needed to raise every day and I thought there was no chance, but we have done it.

"I am overwhelmed with people's generosity."

There have been pub quizzes, static bike rides in Debenhams and Tesco, car boot sales and a garden party in her mum's back garden along the way.

And Mrs Le Grys, who will turn 54 during the course of the trek, isn't finished just yet.

She said: "I would like to raise £6,000 and I still have a few bits going on so I should make it.

"I am visiting Chavasse House Recovery Centre on February 6 which will give me extra motivation."

Training for such a gruelling challenge is a serious business, but so far the mother-of-one has been taking it in her stride.

She said: "We have been given a training schedule which starts off with short walks and gradually gets longer.

"I am excited and nervous.

"I can't wait to get there and start doing it but another bit of me is wondering what I've done."

She added: "After this I have said I am going to take some time off from fundraising but my family know what I am like."

The trek begins on February 20 and is due to last around a fortnight.

Sponsor Tracy at https://bit.ly/2Uhiilh