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Warming up for desert challenge.

Byline: LINDSEY MUSSETT

A BILLINGHAM man is taking on the endurance challenge of a lifetime with a trek across the Gobi desert.

Andrew Milner will battle 155 miles in the blistering heat of the China desert to raise funds for Stockton's Butterwick Hospice.

Andrew was so thankful for the care given by the hospice to his mum, Mary, 70, before she died in August of mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer, that he signed up for the mammoth task along with friend Stephen Bradshaw, 44, known as Harmony. Andrew, 41, a money broker who now lives in Tokyo, with wife Yuko, 45, said: "My mum spent a comfortable week in the care of the Butterwick Hospice and our family was able to experience first hand the dedication and efforts of all the staff.

"When the Gobi March idea was conceived by me and Harmony it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give something back." No stranger to physical effort, both Andrew and Stephen have previously taken part in charity challenges including the Oxfam Trail Walk - a 62-mile hike, and the Tokyo marathon in February.

To donate visit www.justgiving.

com/Andrew-Milner, and to follow the pair's progress after they set off on June 26, visit www.4deserts.com/gobimarch ADVENTUROUS: Andrew Milner will trek across the Gobi desert Picture by IAN McINTYRE

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IN MEMORY: Andrew's mum Mary, right, spent time in the hospice which Andrew is raising money for
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 11, 2011
Words:243
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