This is Steven Gietzen and his mum Linda

Linda’s son and Steven’s brother Andrew had a life-saving double lung transplant at Harefield Hospital. The experience inspired Steven and Linda to take on the Three Peaks Challenge and our Grand Canal Challenge to raise funds for Harefield’s Intensive Care Unit.

“Andrew always lived life to the fullest of his ability but this was declining rapidly. Four months before the transplant, he had to give up work and needed oxygen to help with day-to-day activities. It was so hard to watch him struggle and not be able to make things easier for him. We never wanted to travel too far from home in case he needed us.

The transplant has completely transformed Andrew's life. He can now enjoy all the normal things a dad of a four-year-old daughter and husband does, and he makes the most of his newfound energy by cycling everywhere. He can also now enjoy his previous passion, swimming, which he had to stop 15 years ago.

For more than six weeks, Harefield Hospital was part of our life and our home. We got to know so many members of staff, from porters who would make my granddaughter laugh, to coffee shop staff who knew my preferred type of tea. What a team! We’re also eternally grateful to the Royal Brompton for keeping Andrew going before he was referred to Harefield, and we wanted to give something back.”

The pair set about training for their respective challenges.

“The Three Peaks Challenge was mentally and physically exhausting,” says Steven, “but the view from all three peaks made it well worth it!”

“I wanted to attempt something I hadn’t done before. I just happened to see the Grand Canal Challenge advertised on the Charity’s website,” says Linda. “A 26-mile walk was certainly something I had never attempted before, but I thought as it was to raise money for Harefield, I would do it. It certainly was a challenge but I had the support of my family and the friendly faces of checkpoint volunteers to spur me on.”

“There was no way I would give up – Andrew never gave up his fight for life,” she says.