A proud Manchester father has swapped delivering parcels for lofty heights in a bid to raise money for Cancer Research in honour of his late son.
Postman Paul O’Shea is set to embark on the Three Peaks Challenge in an attempt to raise £15,000, after his son tragically lost his battle with papillary thyroid carcinoma, a type of thyroid cancer.
The challenge will see Paul, his niece’s husband Jason Duffy and other fundraisers as part of Team Christie, scale up the highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland in just 24 hours.
Paul and Jason will cover nearly 3,000metres of ascent and descent when they take on the challenge, climbing Ben Nevis in the morning before moving onto Scafell Pike and finally tackling Mount Snowdon.
Paul, from Crumpsall, has been preparing for the gruelling challenge, which will take place on August 2-3, and admits that this is beyond any other challenges he has undertaken in the past.
“I expect it’s really going to be difficult – in fact, it’s going to take us to the limit,” said the 47-year-old.
“We’ve been going out for walks in the hills around Rochdale but it’s nothing like the Three Peaks and I know this is much tougher than anything else we’ve tried before.
“I’ve never tried hill climbing before but I do keep fit by going to the gym and working with weights.
“I was talking to Jason about what we could do for charity and we thought we’d give the Three Peaks a try.”
This is not the first time that Paul has orchestrated fundraising efforts in Ben’s name and he is already well on the way to achieving his £15,000 goal and is hoping to surpass it.
“We’re a very close family and we’ve already had a fundraising do in Ben’s name when we had an auction, tombola and a disco, and we had a very big turnout so we were very pleased,” he said.
Young Ben was first diagnosed in December 2012 and was treated at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital as well as at The Christie.
“He was a very bubbly little lad who was a big football fan – three Manchester United players came to visit him when he was in hospital – and he just loved life,” added Paul.
Rowena Finn, Sporting Events Officer at The Christie charity, said: “We truly appreciate the effort Paul and his family have put into raising funds for The Christie in Ben’s memory.
“The Three Peaks is an epic challenge and we wish Paul and Jason the best of luck with the task ahead. We’ll be supporting you every step of the way.”
If you would like to contribute to the fund set up in Ben O’Shea’s name at The Christie, please visit: http://hopefunds.christies.org/funds/benjamin-thomasoshea or email the team via [email protected] or call 0161 446 3400.