Posted on 16 September 2016
This week I’d like to tell you about two extremely brave young men, Sam Crimp and Henry Dunham, who are doing something very special. When you think about endurance charity events you might think something like The Three Peaks Challenge, or cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats - both these impressive events take fitness, commitment, and a good dollop of ‘bonkers’. What Henry and Sam are doing puts just about every charity event I’ve heard of into the shade. It’s quite simple really - these guys are walking to Kathmandu in Nepal. “Pardon!?” I hear to say, ‘“Isn’t that a distance of over 4,000 miles, across mountainous and desert terrains, skirting some of the most dangerous places on the planet. On foot!?” Well, yes. That’s what they are doing, and they're called their adventure 'Kathmandu-it'. Next question… WHY?
It’s all for a wonderful charity called ‘Annie’s Challenge’. This was set up in 2015 to provide funds to help support sufferers of brain cancer. It looks to do this in several ways: by offering financial assistance to research programmes looking at the disease; by helping those in the later stages of cancer with the care they need, and by providing funds to other charities looking to perform similar functions. Now brain cancer may not be top of your list in terms of worthy charities, but let me give you some sobering facts:
Brain tumours are responsible for the deaths of:
- More women under 35 than breast cancer
- More men under 45 than prostrate cancer
- More children than leukaemia or any other cancer
- More under 40’s than any other cancer
Annie Dunham, who tragically died from a brain tumour in March this year
Yet only 1% of UK Government cancer budget is spent on brain cancer. As with most charities in existence, their story starts with a loved one getting ill. Henry’s sister Annie was diagnosed with an astrocytoma, a brain tumour in July 2015. Sadly, Annie passed away in March 2016, before she could see her brother and friend Sam complete their challenge. Everyone who knew Annie was in awe of her strength and determination, and the charity Annie’s Challenge was inspired by her and by a desire to share and continue her story.
So, the plan involves ferrying from Harwich to Rotterdam and walking all the way through Europe and Turkey to the city of Bandar Abbas in the south of Iran. Then ferrying across the Strait of Hormuz to Dubai, where they will fly to southern India. The final stage is to walk through the length of India to Nepal and their destination, the city of Kathmandu. Simples! So far, they have walked an almost direct line through Cologne, Frankfurt, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and have left the EU and entered Turkey. A distance of 1700 miles, and they are pretty much to schedule!
Their route will get increasingly dangerous and treacherous underfoot and they need all the support they can get. So far, they have been overwhelmed by the support of people they have met along the way, when people hear of their challenge, they have offered food, or even a bed for the night, sometime with a shower too which must be a real luxury for our intrepid explorers.
I have so much admiration for Henry and Sam and have been following their progress, with many a chuckle (and even a tear or too) when I read their blogs on their facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/kathmanduit/. So, please please lend your support by liking and sharing their page, and if you feel able, donating to their cause too.
I’ve included their latest brief blog below, plus a very moving video they’ve made to explain the charity, their challenge, and of course, encourage donations.
Kathmandu-it Blog - 11th September 2016
The EU. Done. 1,700 miles. 3.8 MILLION steps. We cannot believe we have come so far, and roughly on schedule as well! The video we've put together is short, just 3 and a half minutes long but if you are only going to watch one of our videos please, make it this one. Watch it and share it. Every time you guys get behind us and share our posts it genuinely does result in money being donated and that is what this is all about. So again, please watch, like and share. From Turkey, Sam and Henry x
Best of luck boys!