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Former soldier from Sleaford to take on walk from Stamford to South Ferriby for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance

A former soldier who ended up on life support is set to say thank you for his treatment by walking almost the entire length of the county.

Mike Kay is to embark on a 78-mile walk from Stamford on Saturday, June 15, bound for South Ferriby on the banks of the Humber.

It will be the first in a series of fundraising challenges to raise money for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

Mike completed the Three Peaks Challenge last year
Mike completed the Three Peaks Challenge last year

“The real reason is to say thank you to the NHS,” said Mike.

“I know the air ambulance isn’t directly the NHS, but it’s the only part that isn’t funded by the government. So it’s a thank you for the care and treatment I received.”

After eight years of service with the British Army, he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which led to his eventual discharge in 2013 under medical grounds.

Mike (right) served for eight years in the British Army
Mike (right) served for eight years in the British Army

“After leaving the Army, things went downhill for a while leading to years of treatment and three major operations,” Mike recalled.

“The last one had me on life support as things did not go too well for me, and obviously this was a stressful time for my family and friends.”

His treatment and eventual recovery inspired his mission to ‘give something back’.

Last year he raised £1,200 for SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association) by completing the national Three Peaks run in less than 24 hours.

Next up, Mike, from Sleaford, wants to complete the through-the-night walk in 24 hours and will use the A15 for most of the route, passing through Bourne, Sleaford, Lincoln and Scunthorpe on his way.

He will receive physio at checkpoints by a support crew, but feels in good shape for the challenges ahead.

“I’m starting at Stamford because it’s the southernmost town in Lincolnshire and then Scunthorpe is the most northerly.

“Scunthorpe is only a few miles away from the Humber, so I’m going to carry on there.”

Mike will post updates on his Facebook page and will carry a collection box for those who want to donate en route.

He will follow this by taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks at the end of June before the main event - a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in September.

In Tanzania he will join the ‘Helimed 29’ team tackling Africa’s highest peak and needs to raise £5,000.

He has raised £2,000 so far through quiz nights and race nights, but will now be using his own two feet to add to the tally.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/page/michael-kay-1704511607808

“I’m looking forward to the next couple of months now that the training is kicking on and the fundraising is going quite nicely,” he said.

“My health is good again. Technically I’m classed as disabled because I have a colostomy bag, but I don’t let that limit me.”

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