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December 24th 2013
Published: February 4th 2014
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20 hour Team Endurance Bike race Germany20 hour Team Endurance Bike race Germany20 hour Team Endurance Bike race Germany

This was one of the hardest challenges in 2013.
Lifestart Foundation has been truly blessed to have so many kind, compassionate and dedicated visitors and volunteers. One family, in particular, has shown dedication and commitment to the people that we help time and time again. It is with great excitement that we tell you all that the legendary Birdman(See our previous blogs ) is taking on a new feat! Once more, James Everson-Crane from the UK will do the impossible, flap his wings through a week-long journey of 6 marathons in the Sahara Desert! This is such an extraordinary fundraising event and we hope that you will all get behind James in the coming months.

For those that have followed this blog, you may remember James as a passionate and adventure-seeking man from the UK, who came to Hoi An years ago with his wonderful family. After spending time with the Lifestart Foundation family, they bonded particularly with maker Hanh. When they first met her, Hanh was bedridden, she was knitting scarves in the hope selling them to achieve an income of 15,000 VND ( approx 75 cents ) per day. Years later, thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts of James and his family, many of our makers have
New Years Day 2014 New Years Day 2014 New Years Day 2014

Training in Paris...A great way to explore a beautiful city
taken part in vocational training and are valued and much loved makers at the Lifestart Foundation Workshop. Hanh, who lost the use of her legs due to an accident at the age of 18, now brings her smiling face to our workshop every day where she knits many beautiful items. Read Hanh's full story here >

Since their first visit to Hoi An in 2007, The Everson family have taken part in many fundraising events in the UK. Not being one to pass up an adventure, James has jumped across (and in!) the Yarra River in Melbourne Australia, and climbed Mont Blanc (the highest mountain in the Alps). The fundraising from both events, and many others, helped to provide essential services and projects to our beneficiaries in Central Vietnam.

Once more, James is fundraising for a new adventure. The Marathon Des Sables is a six-day marathon, which takes place from April 4th - 14th, 2014. Read more about the Marathon Des Sables here > it is truly amazing!

Under the scorching Moroccan sun, James and others will run 251kms over 6 days, each day carrying packs of up to 10 kg which hold their food and essential items (only water and makeshift tents are provided and not carried by each participant), and pushing themselves through approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit to meet the finish line.

James has been preparing for this race for quite some time, including running each day and taking part in ultra-marathons of more than 50kms. Recently, James took part in a roadbike race in Germany. Over 20 hours straight , James and his German friends road up mountains....again and again! This race was by far the hardest thing he has ever done, but he says that the finish line was the incentive to finish. For James, a goal of completing the Marathon Des Sables by his 50th birthday, and raising funds for those in need, pushes his excitement for this race. “The hardest part will be getting to the start line fit and healthy” he says.

As if the race itself was not scary enough, there have been warnings of the wilderness in the Sahara desert. In the past, people have been attacked by rabid dogs, with others doing the impossible to stay alive. It is said that the Marathon Des Sables, nicknamed the Death Race can take more than 6 months to recover from.

As James and his family prepare for this race, we look forward to sharing his story
Long runs on an empty North Norfolk BeachLong runs on an empty North Norfolk BeachLong runs on an empty North Norfolk Beach

A glorious January day for a 40K run in Norfolk.....Sand, wind and Sun! Except it was VERY cold.....
with all of you. If you would like to help support and encourage both James and Lifestart Foundation, we encourage you to make donations through the Lifestart Foundation Website click here.

James would like to encourage supporters to become Lifestart Foundation Monthly Members but of course a one off donation to support his Marathon Des Sables effort will also be gratefully received.

Please leave your comments and words of encouragement for James via this site and please share this story with all of your friends on Social Media.

Feeling inspired by James' work? Making a difference in the lives of many does not always require high risk! Holding fundraising events, or sharing information about LSF at your gatherings can help in so many ways. Raising awareness of issues within Vietnam, and the work being done by our organization can help immensely. Doing this can be as simple as sharing our social media pages with your friends, or sharing information at your next dinner party. Interested in doing more? We are here to help provide you with all the information you need! Please email us at lifestart@lifestartfoundation.org.au with your interest, and we can work together to create a successful fundraising venture!

For those of
Lifestart Monthly MembersLifestart Monthly MembersLifestart Monthly Members

Become A Member! http://www.lifestartfoundation.org.au/donate/
you who are little techno challenged like myself if you click on any of the words in blue it will automatically link you into that subject. Don't forget to have a look at our website and find out how you too can support us from anywhere in the world.

Enjoying the blogs? Forward them along or subscribe those that you think would be interested in Lifestart Foundations work.......it's free!

If you happen to be in Hoi An, Viet Nam, visit us at:

77 Phan Chau Trinh Street,
Hoi An

Lots of Love from Karen

Support and Share!


Read stories from past volunteers here:

Meet Beth – A New Physiotherapist Volunteer From The Uk Via India & Nepal

Meet Sheila From Shropshire Hills – UK

Meet Emma from New Zealand

Learn more about International Volunteering

A New Project for Lifestart Foundation

Update from Lifestart Foundation Free Disability Centre

Meet Carmen from Germany

Meet Sahar from the UK

Meet Robbie and Al from Australia

Meet Sahar from the UK

Al and Robbie

Meet Trisha from New Zealand

Art Classes with Lone from Denmark 9th August 2011

Ruth: Teaching English in Vietnam 31st May 2011

E: Why Vietnam Rocks 9th Dec 2010

Sue: Capacity Building and Cleaning Up Mud 29th July 2010

Mark and Mary: Teaching English as a Second Language November 2009

Tropical Storm Ketsana - A picture is worth a thousand words

Cycle Vietnam for a Worthy Cause – Jan 17th 2009

Doctor John – Jan 14th 2009

Memory Portraits – Jan 14th 2009

Birdman Returns – Jul 15th 2008

Meet Sherry – A dream volunteer – Apr 30th 2008


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