With a 40lb Bergen slung on his shoulders, Brandon Foster is bracing for an 88-mile yomp to remember his beloved brother Thomas.
The soldier, who serves with 7 Para Royal Horse Artillery and formerly served in 29 Commando Royal Artillery, aims to complete the loaded march from Bristol to Barnstaple this summer.
Heading out on August 12, he plans to tab between two children's hospices - Charlton Farm and Little Bridge House - in under 60 hours.
Brandon’s older sibling died more than 20 years ago, due to complications of Tay-Sachs disease - a rare genetic disorder that destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal chord.
The soldier said:
“[In] April 1997, my family lost a key member.”
“My aim is to raise as much as I possibly can, as a massive give-back to Children's Hospice South West, for all the hard work they have done and are still doing for children who need it most.”
Thomas, who spent most of his short life in and out of hospital, received a huge amount of support from Children's Hospice South West (CHSW).
At the time, their only available centre was Little Bridge House - despite it being many miles away from the family's home in Bristol.
Ten years after Thomas passed away, Charlton Farm Children's Hospice - where Brandon will start his yomp - opened in the south-west city.
“CHSW is not funded. Each year, they have to raise approximately £9.8 million themselves.
“[That's] to continue with the 24/7, 365 days a year care for all the families they cater for.
“And what an amazing job they do, not only for the child, but for the entire family.”
“This includes respite for the whole family, a sibling service for brothers and sisters, emergency support, end-of-life care, and a bereavement service for as long as is needed.
“Nothing can compare to the support we received from Children's Hospice South West and Little Bridge House.
“Therefore, I would like to give something back.”
You can follow and support Brandon's campaign here.