The Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter gave Daniel Lee a second chance at life and now he wants others to be able to get that opportunity too.
Twenty-three-year-old Mr Lee is walking from Cape Reinga lighthouse to Bluff lookout along the Te Araroa Trail in support of Hawke's Bay's rescue helicopter next month.
"Lowe Corp gave me the ability to do this walk by saving my life 17 years ago and now I just want to give back and show my appreciation and gratitude. I guess that is the ethos behind it."
When he was just 6, Mr Lee was caught in a major agricultural accident involving a tractor and was rushed to Hastings Hospital by the rescue helicopter.
"They picked me up from my front lawn and in about 10 minutes I was at the hospital. They got me there in time and saved my life."
He suffered haemorrhaging to his head and nerve damage behind his ear.
"The only thing permanent was a 70 per cent loss of hearing in my left ear, so their fast action really did give me a second chance."
Mr Lee said the walk along the Te Araroa Trail will take him four to five months to complete, as he strides over 3000km.
"I am looking forward to the challenge and appreciating our own backyard while walking for a good cause. You often explore the depths of other countries but not your own so I am excited to do it on such a close basis."
He said the first two weeks will be the toughest while he develops a routine and finds out how much he can walk in a day, when he should eat and drink and all that "nitty gritty" stuff.
Marketing and fundraising manager, Laura Hyde, said they were delighted to be able to help all those years ago and thought it was fantastic Mr Lee was doing this 17 years later.
"The reality is we need to raise $1.3 million a year so the funds Daniel raises will go a very long way.
"We will be supporting him along the way and will keep everyone else updated via Facebook and our blog."
The rescue helicopter provides around the clock service, 365 days a year, free of charge, responding to those who require urgent medical, or search and rescue support in the Hawke's Bay region.
"This is why we value community support, as without it we would not be able to provide this service. It is so well supported and people like Daniel prove this to us."
Mr Lee hopes to make $10,000 for the rescue helicopter, and had so far reached $3100 after a week of creating the fundraiser page.
To donate to the cause go to https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/danswalk and to follow him on his journey like 'Dan's Walk' on Facebook.
For more articles from this region, go to Hawkes Bay Today