A Melton man is currently in the middle of running 160 miles across the Sahara Desert in intense heat to raise £5,000 for the hospitals which have treated members of his family.
Sam Jensch, who is serving in the Army, is taking part in the gruelling Marathon des Sables - dubbed ‘the toughest footrace on earth’ - having started his challenge on Easter Sunday.
His monumental challenge is set to last six days and he will finish on Saturday.
Competitors take part in temperatures which soar over 50 degrees and they each have to carry a backpack to allow them to survive self-sufficiently for a week.
One of the stages he faces is more than 50 miles long and, as well as trying to avoid exhaustion and blisters, he needs to be wary of dangerous wildlife. One of the items in his backpack is an anti-venom pump in case he is bitten by a scorpion or spider.
But Sam will be inspired to complete the course because all the money he raises will go to the Leicester Hospitals Charity which funds the three main city hospitals.
He said: “I have a very personal connection with the hospitals in Leicester.
“They provided a triple heart bypass to my granddad which has added more than a decade on to his life.
“They have continued to cater for my dad’s ongoing battle with Crohn’s Disease and also saved my mum’s life when she was involved in a car crash in 2008.
“They then put my mum to rest when she sadly passed away in March.”
Sam, who lives in Honeysuckle Way, has had experience of running long distances after completing the London Marathon last year in three hours and 52 minutes, raising £2,500 for the Royal British Legion.
Sam who has so far managed raise £2,900 said he would be grateful for any sponsorship pledges he receives. He added: “I would like to use this slightly ridiculous, once in a lifetime opportunity, to repay the Leicester hospitals for all they’ve done to look after our family and in the hope that they can continue to look after the rest of the county for many years to come.”
To sponsor Sam go to www.justgiving.com/samjensch2015mds or text ‘SAMJ84 £5/£10/£20’ to 70070.