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Saturday, 23 October 2021
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Ex-marine’s epic fundraising challenge to thank NHS staff who saved his son’s life

MIKE Bates of Roundhay Leeds has always challenged his physical and mental ability. After twenty years of service in the military, he went on to earn his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and placed first out of 2,000 in a three-day hike through Denmark.

In December 2022, the 40-year-old will set off on his biggest challenge yet, to row 3,000 miles solo across the Atlantic Ocean! Mike hopes to raise a whopping £70,000 for Leeds Hospitals Charity to benefit the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Leeds Children’s Hospital.

The doting father of two was inspired to take on this mammoth fundraising challenge after his ten-year-old son Gabriel, affectionately known as Gabe, was born prematurely and contracted meningitis, spending his first few months of life on the PICU.

Ex-marine’s epic fundraising challenge to thank NHS staff who saved his son’s life
Mike and Gabe

Mike said:

“Without the amazing staff and facilities at Leeds Children’s Hospital, our lives would be very different today. We’re the lucky ones, but we met many families along the way that weren’t so fortunate.” 

Mike has dubbed his fundraising challenge ‘The Atlantic Grappler’ campaign and is training hard every day in preparation for the gruelling journey.

Ex-marine’s epic fundraising challenge to thank NHS staff who saved his son’s life
Gabe

The determined dad is ready to face challenges along the way head-on:

“I’ll battle with sleep deprivation, salt sores and physical extremes inflicted by the race. Left alone with my own thoughts, the expanse of an ocean and the job of getting the boat safely to the other side.”

Mike is encouraging people to donate to ‘help him, help others’ with supporters becoming part of a team and receiving exciting benefits and exclusive updates on his journey.

Mike has lots of exciting fundraising ideas planned and hopes to take on a 24-hour rowing challenge at the World Triathlon Leeds in June, row a marathon distance each day for the ’12 rows of Christmas’ and once restrictions allow, hopes to hold a glamourous ball in the city.

For more information, please visit: https://www.theatlanticgrappler.com/.

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