Mississippi duo gave it their oar

Grace Alsancak, 22, and Ken Robertshaw, 59, on their Mississippi kayak adventure for children's charity Theodora Trust
Grace Alsancak, 22, and Ken Robertshaw, 59, on their Mississippi kayak adventure for children's charity Theodora Trust
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A charitable duo celebrated completion of a two month mission to kayak the length of the world’s fourth longest river to make poorly children smile.

Halifax Rotarians Ken Robertshaw, 59, and Grace Alsancak, 22, reunited with their loved ones and returned to Calderdale after paddling 2,350-miles from the start of the American river at Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico.

The pair encouraged one another to take on the extreme challenge in a fundraising mission for Theodora Children’s Trust charity which provides ‘giggle doctors’ on Leeds and Bradford children’s hospital wards.

Along the lower half of the river, they really had to give it their oar - paddling hard for hours on end and increased river barges caused three-foot waves for Ken and Grace to contend with.

“The barges were dwarfed by the 250,000 tonne ships that use the river to access ports at Baton Rouge and New Orleans - but they don’t make a sound as they glide along so our necks were constantly on swivels as kayaks don’t show up on the radar,” said Ken.

“The journey was long and hard, physically and mentally, but not as tough as being a child in hospital - if we can help a child smile, it’s all worth it,” said Ken, of Savile Park.

Grace, of Elland, said: “The theme for the journey was ‘Eat, Sleep, Kayak, Repeat’.”

Both said they would never do it again! But hope people will donate to make a poorly child smile. To donate visit mississippichallenge.co.uk or text KRGA60 ‘amount’ to 70070.