A NEWTON Abbott man is set to climb the three highest peaks in England, Scotland, and Wales in memory of his brother.
Michael Brooks, 30, is taking on the National Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF). He has set himself the goal as his brother, Sam, died following a heart attack in September last year at the age of 38.
Sam was at home when he collapsed. He was found by his partner Sarah England, who carried out CPR but was unable to save his life. The couple, who had been together for 12 years, had three children aged between nine and two.
Michael said: ‘I remember the day Sam died clearly. It was just after seven in the morning when I got a call from my mum.
‘It was such an odd time for her to ring that I immediately knew something was wrong. When she told me that Sam was dead, I couldn’t believe it.
‘Sam had been unwell over the previous three or four days, but I never thought that he was going to die so suddenly. It was a massive shock.
‘Sam was a wonderful person. I didn’t realise how many people he’d touched until I went to the funeral. There were so many people sharing stories of how he’d helped them through tough times.
He was always so outgoing and adventurous and to see the impact he’d made on other people’s lives was very moving.”
The loss has inspired Michael to raise funds for the BHF by scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon over the course of two days. Considered one of Britain’s toughest outdoor challenges, Michael will have to trek a total of 26 miles while ascending a total height of 3,000 metres.
‘The reason I’ve signed up is because I want to prevent any other family going through what we have,” said Michael, who works as a website developer for the University of Exeter.
‘I’m really looking forward to it. Knowing that the money I raise will go towards the BHF’s research to help fund new treatments and discover new cures will make it all worth it.’
James Rogers, Area Fundraising Manager for the BHF, said: ‘I would like to thank Michael for taking on this very personal challenge to support our work.
‘For more than 60 years, the public’s generosity has funded BHF research that has turned ideas that once seemed like ‘science fiction’ into treatments and cures that save lives every day. But millions of people are still waiting for the next breakthrough.
‘It is only with donations from the public that we can keep our research going and discover the treatments and cures of the future.’
Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than 160,000 death each year in the UK.
There are around 7.6 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK. The BHF funds research into conditions like heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia, and their risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
People can support Michael’s fundraising online at justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-brooks-challenge