Andy Dennis is a Harrogate Staff Nurse with big plans to raise money for a charity very close to his heart.
Working as a staff nurse in Harrogate Health Care’s intensive care unit and having previously worked in Africa with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), it made that charity the obvious choice.
Medecins Sans Frontieres is a non political, non religious medical organisation working in around 60 countries.
His aim is to raise £16,800 by walking from Amsterdam to Barcelona – two HQ’s of the charity itself.
All the money raised will go to the charity and not to the overheads of the trip itself, meaning that Andy is putting up a sizeable sum to cover his day to day costs whilst on the walk and will loose 6months of income – a very generous commitment to the project.
£16,800 will put two volunteers in the field for one year.
“I was attracted to work for MSF because of their independence and by the fact that they are usually the first to provide care for those suffering through conflict, epidemic and natural disaster”
“I have now worked on two operations with MSF in Uganda in 2005 and Sudan in 2008”
“The first mission was based in Displaced Persons camps in the war torn north of Uganda”
“The second was involved in the setting up of health care clinics in the similarly volatile south of Sudan on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo”
“Both regions were terrorised by a rebel group called the Lords Resistance Army who have maimed tortured, displaced or killed millions over a 20 year period”
“I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with MSF and I now wish to help provide this opportunity for others. My Walk It is a distance of around 2000 miles including a 400 mile section over the Alps”
Andy has the support of Harrogate Health Care, essential in that he will be away from work for 6 months.
Gambaru Fitness is kindly providing free gym membership and Francesca Pardini is being his personal trainer, again for free. All helping to get him into shape ready for his marathon walk.
Jonathan Walker, owner of Gambaru said:
“As soon as I sat down with Andy Dennis and heard his amazing story, I was thrilled that he had chosen Gambaru Fitness to help prepare him for this incredible walk. After all, our ethos is to ‘Never Give in’ and that is what Andy’s story is all about.
I also was personally touched by Andy’s story as he clearly is taking himself beyond limits most would ever dare to take themselves to and, I find that very inspiring.
Having recently run the New York Marathon, I could empathize on some level where this journey would take him mentally and physically and, I admire anyone who will take their mind and body out of the familiar comfort zones so many of us never step out of.
I wish Andy nothing but the best for this journey, and he has all of our support here at Gambaru Fitness.”
Andy’s Trainer, Francesca Pardini also added:
“When someone like Andy comes into your life, it reminds you that life can be full of extraordinary journeys and moments if we let ourselves live them. It is a story like Andy’s that should reaffirm in us all the fact that we are resilient, strong, and brave spirits capable of anything that we put our minds to no matter how challenging it may be.
As soon as I heard his story I said “Andy, when can I start training you?!” I couldn’t wait to be involved in some way and help someone that I truly am inspired by…So Andy and I are meeting twice a week and, I am doing my best to whip him into shape with a program that will help strengthen his core and improve his stamina and endurance.
Andy is a pleasure to train, and I am truly honoured to be helping such a good man with such a noble cause on such an incredible journey.”
Andy starts the walk on 18th April 2011.
To support his walk you can contribute by going to his charity page
There are a number of events planned including a Burlesque Night on 11th March 2010.