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Fundraising duo prepare to tackle the Arctic Circle on dog-sled

Martin Cox and Waine Graham

TWO friends are preparing to take on the challenge of a lifetime, tackling freezing temperatures in the Arctic Circle as they navigate rolling highlands and forests on sleds pulled by dogs.
Melksham local, Waine Graham, and his friend Martin Cox, will spend five days next April travelling over 250km from Tromso in Norway to Jukkasjarvi in Sweden. The pair are hoping to raise over £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity close to both their hearts.
“My mother has been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer,” explained Waine, “she’s had breast cancer before, she thought she had beat it, but it’s all come back unfortunately.
“Macmillan has been brilliant with the support that they have given me, my mum and my dad. My parents live in Carlisle and Macmillan has been instrumental in offering practical and emotional support – especially to my dad who has struggled emotionally.
“My mum is my biggest fan at the moment and has been telling everyone about it. She’s always asking me how the training is going.
“Martin has also been affected by cancer, with people in his family who have died from it. We also know friends who have been hit with it. When we heard about the challenge we thought it was a good opportunity to give something back to the charity. That’s our main focus for the challenge and something Martin and I have spoken a lot about.
“Also, we wanted to do something a bit different and set ourselves a real challenge – and this challenge is very unusual! It’s going to be damn cold and we’ll be working with dogs for the first time. So it is a proper challenge and there will be a real sense of achievement that we’ll have done this for a good cause.
“As an ex-Marine from many years ago, I have some knowledge of survival skills, but nothing like this. Everything on our sleds will be all that we have to survive on.
“One challenge will be working with the dogs. I love dogs, it’s embarrassing when I walk past dogs, I have to speak to them! Martin loves them too. But in a working environment you have to treat them differently, which is going to be difficult. I expect it will be hard leaving them after the challenge as we will have bonded with them!”
In preparation for the event, Waine and Martin have been working on their fitness levels at local gym, City Fitness, with the help of a personal training plan. The pair have also been busy fundraising towards their £10,000 target with over £400 raised at two car boot sales. A bingo night, quiz night and a music gala event are all planned for the near future.
For more information about upcoming fundraising events, search for ‘Snow Dogs 2019’ on Facebook.
To help Waine and Martin reach their fundraising target, visit: www.justgiving .com/ company teams/arcticsledchallenge 2019
Above: Martin Cox and Waine Graham at City Fitness in Melksham, the training ground for their challenge.

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