February 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm
“Everest is one of the most difficult things you can do as an amateur – Basecamp is two thirds of the way up, so it is a real, real challenge”- Steve Desson
Today we’re delighted to introduce you to Steve Desson, a member of our team with 15 years of customer service behind him… but over the next month it won’t just be great customer service he’ll be providing, because Steve is in the final stages of training for the challenge of a lifetime. Steve plans to reach Base Camp on Mount Everest to raise money for Cancer Research UK, and sets off for the 18 day trek on Friday 22 March!
Steve’s set a goal of £5,555 in line with the number of metres he will climb to reach Base Camp and complete his challenge, and he’s already raised £2,100.00 on his JustGiving page through sponsorship and fundraising. Our team, of course, has been fully behind Steve, albeit with a slightly less extreme take on fundraising, and our charity bake sales have already contributed nearly £500 towards the charity target.
Steve’s pushing himself to the limits in memory of his mother, who he sadly lost to cancer last year. “It was a shock; cancer is so fast, it took three weeks from diagnosis to losing her, and when we lost my dad it was just six weeks. Life just turns upside down” recalls Steve, who decided to do something positive to help him overcome the grief and shock of losing a family member.
Spurred into action
“After the shock of it, everything was negative, and I just wanted to do something positive.
“A challenge is not the only way to deal with it but it was my way to deal with it. When my mum died, life felt like it was closing in. Medication wasn’t for me – that’s not to say it can’t work for some people – but I wanted to try a different way first. I wanted to do something really extreme, to push myself.
“And walking has helped. A lot of walking gives you time to think things through and deal with things in your head. It’s hard to be depressed when you’re exercising as it releases endorphins and tends to make you feel more positive. Which I find is far better than locking myself away, which is what I really wanted to do when I started. Hopefully my trek will help inspire other people not to lock themselves away when they’re feeling negative.”
Why Cancer Research?
As well as contributing to his emotional wellbeing in a time of grief, the trek is helping raise money for vital cancer research, with Steve selecting his chosen cancer charity to help make a difference in this area.
“Cancer research is quite public and because I was angry, their marketing hits a chord within you, it makes me think ‘we’ve got to stop this horrible disease’.
“Their latest campaign especially strikes me; it talks about how we’re on the verge of a cure, and it’s all based on research so hopefully what gets raised from my trek can help contribute to that.”
Donate to Steve
Inspired by Steve’s journey? Please donate to his JustGiving page here and help him reach his goal of £5,555!
Next week we’ll discuss Steve’s training – are you planning to reach a charity fitness goal this year? Or maybe you’ve used a challenge to help you overcome grief? Whatever your experience, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
For more information on coping with cancer please visit our Cancer Centre.