Everyone has their Everest, everyone deserves their chance to stand in sunshine.
Wanaka’s Ben Suncin has more challenges than most, following a life-changing head injury during surgery in 1999.
But the former Wanaka Tourist Hotel Corporation worker was in fine form just after 1pm on Tuesday as he completed his 23rd, 1km lap of Pembroke Park.
At that stage he was just over halfway into a 12 hour challenge and had already surpassed his goal of raising $1500 for the Brain Injury Association, Otago.
Mr Suncin is a regular volunteer at Challenge Wanaka, Relay for Life and other community activities.
‘‘Whatever appeal is happening, I am into it,’’ he said.
Last year, he was ‘‘walking around in one big circle’’ at the Relay for Life (cancer support) when he decided to do a similar adventure for the Brain Injury Association, because it has been there for him through thick and thin.
‘‘ACC said they would help put me through the exercises if I would have a go [at Relay for Life]. I love walking. It was absolutely beautiful, especially the memorial walk where they had the candle lights going. It started to drizzle and I thought, ‘Tears from heaven’. I did cry, and I was glad I did because it let out a lot of emotions,’’ Mr Suncin said.
Supporting his efforts on Tuesday were association liaison officer Cathy Matthews and manager Jane Butterfield, of Dunedin, his physiotherapist Brett Jenkins, friends Rob Luke and Calum MacLeod and other Lions Club members.
During his 7am to 7pm walk, Mr Suncin talked about many things, including his blue hair, the need for spare dog poo bags, his disappointment tourist trains do not get better support from territorial authorities and his goal of climbing Mt Iron or Mt Roy again one day — ‘‘and then I will get someone in a helicopter to bring me down’’.
Each lap of Pembroke Park took him about 29 minutes.
‘‘I go around one way for an hour, have a 15 minute break and then go back the other way for an hour,’’ he said.
Mr Suncin said he was no stranger to a big day out, despite his health issues.
‘‘With Challenge Wanaka I would have started at 5am and gone through until 1am the next day,’’ he said.
Covid›cancelled events meant Mr Suncin would not be able to do as many things this year, but he was looking forward to a trip to Dunedin in March to participate in Brain Injury Awareness Day activities.
People can give to Mr Suncin’s Givealittle Page.