Double Amputee and Polar Explorer Who Was First to Complete Legendary Marathon Offers Pandemic Support

Double Amputee and Polar Explorer Who Was First to Complete Legendary Marathon Offers Pandemic Support

By Sharon Black

Duncan Slater, a former soldier and first ever double amputee to race to the South Pole and complete the legendary Marathon des Sables across the Sahara Desert, will be telling his inspirational story on Facebook Live @4pm this Friday.

Duncan broke almost every bone in his body when the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was hit by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. After a year in a wheelchair he was told his legs would have to be amputated.

Just seven months after the operation the former Sergeant reached the South Pole and subsequently become the first double amputee to complete the Marathon des Sables ultramarathon, often regarded has the toughest foot marathon in the world.

He has also been presented with the Honorary Freeman of Diss, among his other achievements, and now dedicates himself to raising money for charity and helping others.

Duncan said: “This is a tough time for everyone and I’m hoping that my Facebook Live appearance will help inspire and motivate others who may be struggling with mental health issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

To view the live broadcast visit https://www.facebook.com/theoppofoundation/

Duncan is the latest ex-military speaker to take in the broadcasts, which are being organised by The OppO Foundation to help people struggling with mental health issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kayam Iqbal, who founded the charity in 2014 to help ex-military personnel and their families on their return to civilian life, said: “Our objective is to provide inspirational speakers during Covid-19 and hopefully inspire people, motivate and importantly tackle any mental health issues people maybe facing.

“All our speakers have been through mental health issues of their own and as we are all in ‘lockdown’ to hear their stories on the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them, we feel that this could provide some real positive words of encouragement to the public.”

There will be a Q&A session during each event where the speakers are happy to talk candidly about their experiences and answers any questions viewers may have.

“As a country, now more so than ever, we have to come together, stay strong, stay safe and support one another,” added Kayam.

Kayam, a former RAF Medic/Intelligence Specialist and British Muslim, was medically discharged for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following 11 years’ service, during which he completed tours of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Like many others with mental health issues, I find each day a struggle, more so now during lockdown,” he continued.

“However, by bringing people together and hopefully offering an insight into some of these inspirational people, you can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and know you are not alone.”

The OppO Foundation is providing this service at no cost. However, if any viewer wishes to make a donation the money raised will be split between the NHS and the OppO Foundation. To make a donation visit: https://www.justgiving.com/oppo-foundation.