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Canada calls for Mildenhall and Fornham All Saints amputees after virtual trek

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Two best friends who are both leg amputees and taken on a virtual walking challenge to some of the world's landmarks have been offered a chance to visit one of their walks in Canada.

Paul Clark, from Mildenhall, and Marc Pitman, from Fornham All Saints, have been covering 700 miles and completing five virtual treks, including Mount Fuji and the Grand Canyon, to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity.

But it was their trekking of the Cabot Trail, on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, that caught the eye of the media there.

Paul said: "Once we set up and got going on social media we had a journalist from the Cape Breton Post newspaper contact us to do our story, which made their front page.

"Then we had a Cape Breton radio station contact us and then Destination Cape Breton, the tourist board for that area, got in touch as well."

With Destination Cape Breton involved the pair ended up on CTV Atlantic, which is Canada's largest privately owned television network.

Best friends Paul Clark and Marc Pitman. Picture by Mark Westley.
Best friends Paul Clark and Marc Pitman. Picture by Mark Westley.

Paul said they were shocked about how quickly it all came about a month ago, but that was not the only surprise in store for them

He said: "After recording we were told they had something else for us, we thought they were going to donate but that is when the CEO of Destination Cape Breton announced he was inviting us over."

Terry Smith said he was inspired by Paul and Marc's challenge, that it had given the area great exposure and wanted to thank them with flights, accommodation, transport and food when it was safe to do so.

Paul said: "We were completely shocked, Canada has always fascinated me and the Canadians have been fantastic with their support."

After the pair finish their challenge on March 27 at the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds, they plan to thank Canada with their next challenge.

Paul said: "We are planning to virtually walk across Canada this year, which is around 4,860 miles.

"In memory of one of the country's most famous athletes, Terry Fox, who was an amputee for his foundation set up to aid cancer research."

To find out more about their current challenge and to donate, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/700mile-virtual-trek.

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