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The inspiration behind Lewis Moody’s incredible headsouth Antarctica expedition

Lewis’s team of 11 enter day three of their epic trek to the South Pole for HeadSmart.

Featured in the Daily Mail today, Lewis talks about Joss, the young teenager who remains the inspiration behind the Foundation and the series of challenges.

When former England rugby captain Lewis Moody met Joss Rowley-Stark, a teenage fan with a rare cancer, he didn’t expect his own life to be changed.

“In early 2012, I received a letter from Joss’s stepdad Graeme to ask if I could do something to cheer Joss up during his chemotherapy treatment,” Lewis says in the feature.

“This was a handwritten letter that really touched my heart.”

“Joss helped me find a purpose which I had lost. The charity — and my future — was 100 per cent inspired by Joss, who fought cancer with courage and selflessness.”

Read more from the feature about Joss and Lewis’ story here

As the expedition enters day three, with temperature plummeting to -47°C, the team have already smashed their £250,000 target.

Each team member is pulling their own, specially-design Norwegian sleds that weigh 200kg with everything each person needs – tents, clothing and food – onboard.

Expedition leader and guide Alan Chambers MBE said:The conditions will be challenging both mentally and physically, as the team endures frozen landscapes and glaciers.

“To ensure they are in the best shape possible for the trials ahead, the team have undertaken intense, high level preparation and training to simulate the minimum daily distance required on their expedition.”

The challenge has the sole purpose of driving donations and fundraising for The Lewis Moody Foundation which supports and funds research into brain tumours – the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40.

Lewis said: “However hard the challenge – in this case the sheer bleakness and paralysing cold of the Antarctic – what really chills me to the bone is the equally bleak realisation that brain tumours remain THE biggest cancer killer of children and adults.

“This sobering fact has provided the motivation for our fundraising and driven the inner discipline required to face each of the challenges.

“These challenges have taken me to my physical limits but it seems a small price to pay when compared to the harsh and devastating reality for those living with a brain tumour.

Improving the options and giving hope to those diagnosed in the future will drive me on during this unforgiving and relentless expedition.”

The donations and money raised through headsouth will help fund The Tessa-Jowell BRAIN-MATRIX; a pioneering clinical trial that will enable doctors to treat brain tumour patients with drugs that are more targeted than ever before.
Pic © The Brain Tumour Charity/Piers Townley