A Dromore man, who had his leg amputated and lost an eye due to cancer, is taking to the skies...quite literally.
Peter Branker from Hawthorn Walk is hoping to raise a staggering £20,000 for Air Ambulance NI by undertaking an Extreme Activity Fundraising Challenge which includes paragliding in Germany, abseiling, bunjee jumping, paragliding and shark diving in South Africa and skydiving in Northern Ireland to name but a few.
Having being diagnosed with cancer in 1984 aged just 13, Peter has already raised thousands of pounds for various charities and has never let his disability get in the way.
Peter explains: “My first diagnosis with cancer left me with a painted lense in my right eye and it was then that I started to fundraise for charity, mainly cancer charities in the first few years. Following an amputation of my right lower leg in 1989 at the age of 18 I have only intensified my fundraising and I fundraise for all types of worthwhile causes. My activity challenge begins this month with a sky dive in Northern Ireland before travelling to Munich in August to undertake my first paragliding experience. This challenge is something I have been looking to undertake for many years however I have been unable to do so by the knowledge that many activity organisers did not allow or pursue disabled participants.
“Knowing this no longer is the case or indeed an obstacle allows me to undertake this challenge for the first time and it is something I am greatly looking forward to. My next number of major challenges will not take place until a year later but will include another paraglide in Cape Town, an abseil off Table Mountain the highest commercial abseil in the world, a bunjee jump of the highest bridge bunjee in the world and shark diving in the best shark diving location in the world. Although there is a year between my visit to Munich and my visit to Cape Town I do plan to add to the activities during this time and I will update my justgiving page to keep everyone updated.
“Over the years I have organised many events and I have taken part in a number physical challenges however over the last numer of years I have pursued more extreme challenges such as skydives, large abseils, wing walking and recently one of the world’s toughest Whitewater Rafting experiences, a four day Whitewater Rafting Challenge in Zambia and Zimbawee rafting the Mighty Zambezi. Following the Whitewater Rafting experience, I ended up with a four day stay in hospital on my return as I picked up a bacterial infection which led to Gastroenteritis and I’m still suffering some after effects of this.
“However I am keen to continue, being disabled only increases my hunger for these challenges and it only enhances the experience and pushes me to look for future challenges.”
Recently Peter held a fundraising Stars In Their Eyes event in Belmont Hotel, Banbridge and raised a staggering £10,000 towards his £20,000 target.
Peter added: “We raised just over £10,000 on the night and my own fundraising will continue for the Air Ambulance NI. I have now decided that I will try to double this within the next year and a half by taking on extreme activities in Northern Ireland, Germany and South Africa.
“On behalf of Dromore Community Charity Events Committee, I would like to thank all the contestants, musicians, compere Gary Wilson, judges, my right hand man Bobby Ball, volunteers, the Belmont staff, the estimated 350 members of the paying public and all those who helped in any way to make this evening such a success.” For more information go to Peter’s Justgiving site: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/peterbranker1