30 May 2017
Two of our wonderful supporters have set off on the challenge of a lifetime to raise money for our charity. Sam and Martyn are hiking the Appalachian Trail in America — an approximately 2,200 mile long route known as the longest hiking only trail in the world.
Sam and Martyn set off on the 8th April to the United States to begin the hike in the southern state of Georgia. They will then be walking through 14 states, up towards the East Coast of America to reach their final destination in Maine.
This enormous challenge will involve 6 months of camping, 1,500 litres of water to find, collect and filter and 515,000 feet to climb - equivalent to 45 ascents of Mount Everest.
Martyn has been documenting their journey so far in his blog where he explains his motivations behind the challenge and why he wanted to fundraise for our charity.
In his blog, Martyn dubs our team “superheroes’’, commenting:
“We picked superheroes. Every day, multiple times per day, a siren goes off high above East London. Air traffic control literally clears the skies, and a super-fast (red) helicopter loaded with a team of the world’s best trauma specialists (in extremely cool high-vis flight suits) blasts off to save lives.”
The couple are currently in Hot Springs, Tennessee after trekking through the Smoky Mountains and are approximately 234 miles into the challenge.
“For Sam and me, the trail is where we feel most alive…We do hope to inspire and inform people about the incredible work of London's Air Ambulance- and we love that occasionally people might be moved to donate on account of that.”
Before embarking on their trip, the pair visited our helipad on top of The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and were able to watch our advanced trauma team leave on a life-saving mission in the aircraft.
Speaking about their visit Martyn said:
“Speed doesn’t come through haste. Fire precautions, pre-flight aircraft checks, route mapping is all needed. The calm, precise, measured urgency of a crack team in action is an awesome thing to behold.”
Sam and Martyn are progressing well and have already raised a quarter of their fundraising target.
Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer of London's Air Ambulance said:
“A huge thank you to Sam and Martyn for undertaking this enormous challenge and for raising money for our charity. We rely on the support of the public to continue to deliver advanced pre-hospital care to critically injured people in London 24/7. On behalf of everyone at London's Air Ambulance, I wish Sam and Martyn the best of luck completing the trail. I encourage everyone who can to support them and London's Air Ambulance to do so."