David Levin from Bo'ness will celebrate his 81st birthday with a 10-day trek!

An 80-year-old from Bo’ness will celebrate his birthday this weekend by taking on an 81-mile hike!
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Proving age is just a number, David Levin, who lives in Bield’s Dean Court development, will attempt to walk 81 miles to raise funds for Scottish charity Calum’s Cabin.

He was inspired to take on the Walkie Talkie challenge by his Grangemouth golfing buddy Harry Petersen, whose 13-year-old granddaughter Chiara Fox was diagnosed with a rare life-limiting condition as a baby.

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David hopes that taking part in the monumental challenge will help raise awareness for both the support Calum’s Cabin provides, as well as Chiara’s condition.

Chiara has inspired David Levin to take on a 10 day fundraising walk, setting off on his 81st birthday.Chiara has inspired David Levin to take on a 10 day fundraising walk, setting off on his 81st birthday.
Chiara has inspired David Levin to take on a 10 day fundraising walk, setting off on his 81st birthday.

David will set off from Bo’ness on his 81st birthday on Sunday, March 31 and will endeavour to complete the challenge over 10 days with the support of Bield staff, tenants and Chiara’s family. Scottish football hero, now GP, Kenny Deuchar also known as Dr Goals, will also join David along the route.

David said: “I am honoured to walk under Chiara's banner and raise money for Calum's Cabin where families can spend quality time together making irreplaceable memories.

“I am hoping to complete the route in 10 days and am looking forward to hearing the stories of those joining me along the way. It’s talkie as much as walkie.”

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Originally from Merseyside, David moved to Bo’ness in 2019 and is an avid golfer and lifelong sportsman.

He added: “It is a challenge because, like many my age, I have a few health problems, but nothing like young Chiara faces. I couldn’t ask for greater motivation. When Harry asked me, there could only be one response.”

David’s trek will see him travel a manageable route along the John Muir Way. Bield staff will also host David at their properties each night to ensure he is well rested.

Tracey Howatt, Bield’s customer experience director, said: “We are amazed by our tenants’ commitment to supporting charitable causes.

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“We’re proud to support David on his challenge and staff look forward to walking with him along the way.”

Chiara, who lives in Grangemouth, was diagnosed with the rare condition MPS1 H (Hurlers) at eight months old and has undergone extensive medical procedures, including two bone marrow transplants, bilateral hip reconstruction and spinal fusion surgery.

Mum Michelle Peterson said: “Chiara inspires everyone she meets; we’re delighted David is taking on this challenge to raise funds for Calum’s Cabin.

“We’ve stayed a few times and made memories that will last a lifetime. We hope many more families for years to come get to enjoy a break too.”

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Founded by Caroline Spiers in 2007, Calum's Cabin provides free holiday accommodation for children with cancer and their families on the Isle of Bute and Ayrshire.

Caroline said: “Many families who have children with cancer are required to travel from all over Scotland to Glasgow’s primary treatment centres. The mounting cost of travel and accommodation is often a huge burden, adding even more stress to their lives.

“We are honoured David has chosen to walk for Calum’s Cabin. We wish him well and look forward to joining him for a couple of miles.”

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