51 things to do before I die
A BIG-HEARTED youth worker has dreamt up a madcap wish list of 51 things to do before he dies – in a bid to raise thousands for children’s charities.
The idea for the “life list” was first hatched in a pub by Darren O’Sullivan after a few beers with friends five years ago.
But it was only after a serious car crash while on holiday in Greece in 2006 that Darren, of Wesleyan Road, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough, set his sights on ticking the challenges off one by one.
So far, the 27-year-old has completed two of his list aims – quitting smoking and arranging a flash mob event at the Botolph Arms pub, in Orton Longueville.
And he has got close to a shark twice – once when he was diving in Egypt and was feet away from a nurse shark and another time while on holiday and swimming with white tipped sharks. But he is still pursuing one of his scariest challenges – actually hugging one of the feared fish.
Darren’s next big task will be a 350mile charity walk from Luxembourg to London on July 25 – number 17 on his list.
He will fly out to Luxembourg city, then spend two weeks walking 35-miles a day, sleeping in a tent en route until he picks up his transport back to London.
Darren, who is currently a self employed youth worker involved in young people’s theatre workshops, hopes the solo venture will raise £2,000 for the NSPCC, a charity close to his heart.
He said: “I used to work with young people in care. Some of them were neglected and the NSPCC works to prevent that.
“There were young people whose birthdays weren’t a priority when they were at home, so when they went into care and there was a party for them, they didn’t know how to handle it.
“One young lad of 11 told me he had never built dens. He didn’t even know what it was. That really brought it home.
“I am raising money for the NSPCC HUG A SHARK: One of Darren’s wishes. simply because I believe, in the 21st century, child abuse should not exist, especially in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.”
Darren’s list is inspired by the term “bucket list”, a list of things to cross off before you “kick the bucket”.
He said: “It all began during a daft evening with mates in the pub. But about a year after that, I had a car crash in Greece. It wasn’t life-threatening, but I had to have surgery on my shoulder and couldn’t work.
“It focused my mind and inspired me to start ticking stuff off my life list before I slipped off the mortal coil.
“Some are funny, some are serious and I want to do the big ones for charity. It’s almost like a vocation.”
After his walk from Luxembourg to London, Darren will start training to complete the London Marathon next year.
However, he wants to tackle the 26-mile race with a twist. He said: “I want to crawl the marathon wearing a nappy to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. My knees will be wrecked and I’ll probably beat the slowest ever time of 72 hours, but the children the hospital help go through a lot more.”
Sponsor Darren by visiting www.justgiving.com/darren-o-sullivan
WISH LIST: Darren O’Sullivan is raising cash for charity by working through a list of bizarre challenges he wants to do before he dies.