A top wheelchair basketball player from St Helens is planning to push himself from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of Willowbrook Hospice.
Dan Highcock was inspired to take on the 900-mile “challenge of a lifetime” after witnessing first hand the way Willowbrook staff cared for his grandfather, Peter Jackson.
The 31-year-old, who suffered life changing injuries in a motocross bike accident when he was five, hopes to raise £20,000 and complete the course in 7-10 days next July/August.
Dan said: “I know that I’m physically capable of doing it but it’s going to be one hell of a challenge. I’m going to have to plan my route very carefully and I want to get local people involved at every pit stop.
“It will be even harder in a wheelchair than on a bike so I’m going to have a physio with me all the way so I can get treatment every day.
“I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for charity for a long time and Willowbrook took really good care of my grandfather, so it was a perfect fit.
“My grandad was the guy who got me involved in wheelchair basketball in the first place – he even made me first sports wheelchair!”
Dan, who played for Great Britain in last year’s Paralympics, currently plays professional basketball in Spain for BSR Valladolid.
He previously spent a season plying his trade in Milan as well as playing for domestic clubs Wolverhampton and Sheffield.
The ex-Cowley pupil, from Dentons Green, spends every September to May in Spain, training twice a day five days a week, but admits that there’s still no place like home.
He added: “Life over here is very good - everything I need is on my doorstep and, after football, basketball is the biggest sport over here.
“But I love going back to St Helens every summer. I always get a good feeling and all the memories come flooding back when I turn into my home street, Speakman Road.”
To donate, go online at: www.justgiving.com/Dan-Highcock
To check on Dan’s progress, you can also follow him on Twitter at: @DanHighcock5