Pensioner inspired by teen with rare condition takes on 81-mile trek for charity

David Levin has raised £2,000 for Calum's Cabin after learning of Chiara Fox, who has Hurler Syndrome.

Pensioner inspired by teen with rare condition MPS1 H takes on 81-mile trek for charity Calum’s Cabin Holyrood PR

A pensioner has marked his 81st birthday by walking 81 miles for Scottish charity Calum’s Cabin after being inspired by a young girl with a life-limiting condition.

David Levin, from Bo’Ness, was inspired to raise money for the charity after learning of 13-year-old Chiara Fox, through her grandfather, Harry Peterson, who he golfs with.

Chiara was diagnosed with the rare disease MPS1 H, also known as Hurlers, at just eight months old.

Since then, she has undergone extensive medical procedures including two spinal fusion surgeries, two bone marrow transplants and bilateral hip reconstruction.

Over the years, Chiara and her family have been supported by Calum’s Cabin, a charity that provides support to serious ill children.

As well as fundraising, he hopes to raise awareness of Chiara’s rare condition.

The pensioner raised over £2,000 after walking eight miles each day from Bo’ness to Longniddry and back.

He completed the feat in ten days.

David said: “There have been a few tough days, but quitting was never an option.

“Perhaps others will think, ‘well if that old guy can do it, why can’t I?’, and take the first step, the hardest of all.

“I love to chat. I believe it’s an essential component of a healthy life and I’ve had a great time walking under Chiara’s banner for Calum’s Cabin.”

Chiara’s mum, Michelle Petersen, said: “It’s been so great to see David complete this challenge, Chiara is an inspiration to everyone she meets.

“We’ve been able to join David at the start and end of his walk, we’re thrilled he chose to walk for Chiara and Calum’s Cabin.”

Money raised from David’s hike will go towards Calum’s Cabin, to help provide respite for children like Chiara with serious illnesses.

The charity was inspired by Calum Spiers and founded by his parents, Duncan and Caroline, and twin sister, Jenna, after Calum passed away from an inoperable brain tumour in 2007.

Caroline said: “We love to hear of the memories made by families who have stayed at Calum’s Cabin, and we are honoured that David chose to walk for us.

“Many families who have children with cancer are required to travel from all over Scotland to Glasgow’s primary treatment centres for specialist care.

“The mounting cost of travel and accommodation is often a huge burden for families, adding even more stress and worry to their lives.

“The money David has raised will go towards supporting these families to enjoy a stress-free break.”

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