"Norge Pa Langs" Inspired By Dave

In the early 1990s I met Dave Hollinger through the University Climbing Club. In those early days of climbing, Dave discovered a liflelong passion of mountains and moutaineering. 

After University, Dave worked his way up through the ranks to evetually reach his goal of becoming a fully Internationally accredited Mountain Guide.

During March of last year Dave went from climbing  mountains around the world to only being able to move his eyes, as a result of a devastating brain stem stroke. 

Dave now needs vital care and access to high tech rehabilitation equipment. This doesn't come cheaply and a wide network of friends have set about fund raising for Dave.... "Inspired By Dave".

My own personal challenge, to raise money for Dave, is to ski the length of Norway. This will take me around 80 to 100 days. I will be totally self propelled. I have taken the winter off work to enable this. The journey will certainly be an adventure and push me to the limits of my mental and physical capabilities. I will cover approximately 2500 km of Arctic wilderness where temperatures can drop to -40 degrees centigrade.

I hope I can complete it in one season, but weather, snow conditions and temperature will all create obstacles  along the way. Suffice to say to embark on this mission, I am indeed, "Inspired by Dave'!

All donations to this page go directly into the Hollinger account. My trip is self funded.

Dave's story is put best in what he referred to recently as 'breaking radio silence' on his first Facebook post since this life changing accident:

“Time to break radio silence, are you ready, here we go...

2018 was not a good year for several reasons but, for me, the cruelest blow came in March when I suffered a brain stem stroke following a ski fall.

To say our world has been turned on its head would be a mild understatement. Whilst I've not lost any cognitive function my motor control was reduced to blinking.

I'm not going to dwell on the negatives, hardly the thing for the start of a new year, but while Hannah is keeping the show on the road in the most humbling way imaginable my role has been reduced to fighting for every bit of motor function I can get back.

It is a huge mountain to climb and I am still at the bottom but climbing mountains is what I do and with progress so far I am at least over the bergschrund.

I also know I have benefited from a huge amount of support from the start from friends near and far. I am truly grateful and my state of mind is better for it.

I have 'typed' this using a simple but slow eye tracking system. I can't promise to produce much text (some of you will say that is a good thing!) but I will try and let you know how I am getting on. Wishing you all the best for the coming year.”

As Dave says himself he is at the beginning of a very long climb. Compared to where Dave was last March, where he only had eye movement, he has made huge amounts of progress. His attitude, positivity and ability to look forward is incredibly impressive for all to see. Dave now has small amounts of movement in all limbs, is doing some standing with support and is on a motorized bike. His facial paralysis and locked jaw continue to be a frustration, but he is constantly working on improving that and he is still using his eye gaze system to communicate. 

The decision was made by them early on that Sheffield would provide Dave with better neuro re-hab options than their hometown outside Inverness, and also provide his wife Hannah and their two boys a network to support them all while they are in Sheffield. Dave has an NHS funded place in an impressive neuro-rehab facility called STEPS and NHS Highland are funding his place on a  (so far rolling) 3 monthly basis. With the progress Dave is making he is hoping this will continue for the medium term, but the funding for this is not certain.

Hannah has been the most incredible wife, nurse, friend, advocate and mother you could possibly imagine. Hannah and the boys have been living in Sheffield from April until now (Jan 2019).  Hannah and Dave have made the difficult decision that in February 2019 Hannah and the boys will return to Carrbridge, Scotland to return to work and to start her PhD and for the boys to return to school, their home and friends. Dave will remain in Sheffield for as much rehab as possible. Dave’s goals are to walk, eat a Sunday Dinner and bake Hannah a cake (as this all happened just before her birthday last year.) There’s a long, long, long way to go but he certainly feels that he is making small movements in that direction.  As you can see from his Facebook message Dave is looking forward and upwards. His determination as we all know is out of this world. The Physios and other staff at STEPS are getting excited about his progress and attitude to his rehab. It’s going to be a long haul and continue to be a roller-coaster of a ride.

Dave needs long term ongoing physio and also specialist equipment. The fundraising effort overall is already halfway to reaching the inital target of £150 000. All money raised will go directly into Dave's fund to help with his rehabilitation. Dave's wife Hannah has made it very clear this money is for Dave's rehab and not holidays!
Although they both deserve a long one!

This has been written in consultation with Hannah and Dave, as I’m sure you will understand it’s a difficult thing for either of them to write themselves. 

To follow Dave's story further:https://www.glenmorelodge.org.uk/inspiredbydave/?fbclid=IwAR2AEm6XE7z87MDi3VORyqDlA1w0-TB9Wb5uC5efmz-o9EH4sIYyUvAQaSs
  • Jay Fox 
    • 170 £ 
    • 5 months ago
  • Elinor Hall-Patch 
    • 15 £ 
    • 6 months ago
  • Anonymous 
    • 5 £ 
    • 7 months ago
  • Anonymous 
    • 10 £ 
    • 7 months ago
  • Chris Davies 
    • 20 £ 
    • 7 months ago
See all

Organiser and beneficiary

Ben Bardsley 
Keswick, North West England, United Kingdom
Hannah Hollinger 
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