Chesterfield man set to take on fundraising challenge in memory of his late Paralympic gold medalist grandfather

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A Chesterfield lifestyle coach is preparing to take on a hiking and cycling challenge in memory of his late Paralympic gold medalist grandfather.

Levi Stefan will hike the National Three Peaks and the Yorkshire Three Peaks in 48 hours, before cycling 100 miles to Ashgate Hospice.

The 33-year-old, from Chesterfield, wanted to support the North Derbyshire hospice after his grandfather Philip Saunders received care there at the end of his life.

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Levi, whose ‘Man vs Mountain’ challenge will take place between July 12 and 14, hopes to raise £3,000 so future patients can access the care his grandfather did.

Levi is taking on a colossal charity challenge as a tribute to his late grandfather.Levi is taking on a colossal charity challenge as a tribute to his late grandfather.
Levi is taking on a colossal charity challenge as a tribute to his late grandfather.

He said he was inspired by his grandad, Philip Saunders, who won a gold medal for Great Britain in Alpine Skiing at the Paralympic Winter Games in Innsbruck in 1984.

Levi said: “My grandad turned his disability into a superpower after an accident at work in his 20s and became a Paralympic gold medalist in downhill skiing.

“He was part of the Paralympic team for about 27 years and did downhill skiing, as well as a lot of sledge hockey – he was a big inspiration for me.

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“I want to harness that same energy in completing my challenge, and with each peak I reach, I will be planting a memorial flag.

Philip, Levi’s grandfather, pictured here with the gold medal he won at the Paralympic Winter Games.Philip, Levi’s grandfather, pictured here with the gold medal he won at the Paralympic Winter Games.
Philip, Levi’s grandfather, pictured here with the gold medal he won at the Paralympic Winter Games.

“Do I feel ready? Mentally, yes. But physically, well, I’ll have to be!”

Philip, from Chesterfield, was cared for at Ashgate Hospice’s Inpatient Unit in Old Brampton, Chesterfield before his death in May 2012, aged 64.

He had been diagnosed with kidney cancer that later spread to his arm and elsewhere in his body.

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Philip competed in numerous Paralympic Winter Games and was even asked to be a flag bearer for Great Britain at the opening ceremony in Turin in 2006.

Levi is hoping to raise £3,000 for Ashgate Hospice.Levi is hoping to raise £3,000 for Ashgate Hospice.
Levi is hoping to raise £3,000 for Ashgate Hospice.

Levi said he wanted to give back to the hospice following the “amazing” care and support his grandfather and family received during his final days.

He added: “I got to witness first-hand the amazing work all the staff do to help comfort, support and look after everyone in their care at the hospice.

“They helped us immensely with end of life care during my grandad's time at the hospice; making our family feel welcomed and he was as comfortable as possible.

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“Being at the hospice just meant we were all able to be together in the moments we needed to be.

“Despite a sad ending for my grandad, I knew I wanted to give back one day and help to raise funds in support of this incredible charity. This will be the first of many.”

Levi’s first leg of the challenge will see him scale the highest peaks in England, Scotland, and Wales – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – one after another.

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He will then attempt to conquer Yorkshire’s highest mountains Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to Levi’s fundraiser can do so on his Go Fund Me page here. Find out more about how you can fundraise for Ashgate Hospice here.

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