An intrepid teenage charity challenger from Leighton Buzzard has now completed the first two parts of a four-country fundraising marathon he set himself this year.
Fourteen-year-old Michael Desmond of Willow Bank Walk has already canoed the length of Lake Bala in Wales, and back, which raised £150 for Great Ormond Street Hospital. And he’s recently scaled Ben Nevis in Scotland in aid of Scottish Mountain Rescue.
Still in the pipeline are a 12-hour cyclathon for Cancer Research UK, followed by coasteering in Ireland for Make a Wish.
The Year 10 Cedars Upper School student is no stranger to tackling tough physical tasks in aid of a good cause.
Three years ago – on his 11th birthday – he raised £400 for Help For Heroes by cycling from Leighton Buzzard to Watford on the canal tow path.
Proud mum Sue, 47, describes her son as “a kind and generous-spirited boy who really enjoys helping others.”
She says the hike up Ben Nevis was strenuous and testing: “It was muggy, misty and raining – full wet weather clothing was put to good use!
“But Michael coped brilliantly and was like a mountain goat in places. He’s never attempted anything like this before and was particularly encouraging to me when when my right knee gave out on the way down, making our progress very slow.
“He’s already raised £120 for Scottish Mountain Rescue.”
In a comment on his Facebook page, Michael says: “It was an amazing trip with amazing views and I can’t wait to do it again.
“But to anyone Mum’s age or above thinking about climbing Ben Nevis, my advice is DON’T - it will kill you.”
He hopes to follow in his 16-year-old sister Megan’s footsteps and take the National Citizen Service programme and World Challenge.
> Sponsor Michael at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MichaelDesmond2016challenge