Dr William Tan takes on the Australian outback in a wheelchair to raise funds for charity

August 11, 2017

Everything that could go wrong with a press interview almost did.

The looming dark clouds were threatening the photo shoot and the interviewee’s expedition equipment was hot off the shelve and yet to be tested.


The interviewee’s equipment failed and he took a hard fall, just before the photo shoot.

If the interviewee was anyone else other than Dr William Tan, MindChamps Academy Programme Director and MindChamps Medical Chief Strategy Officer, chances are the interview would have been called off.

What was this ‘little’ fall to the 60-year-old paralympian athlete, who has completed the Antarctica marathon, the North Pole marathon, and set a world record for achieving marathons in the fastest time across seven continents.

Not only that, but he has survived end-stage chronic lymphocytic leukaemia as well.

So it was on with the photo and video shoot with The Straits Times. Needless to say, he impressed both the journalist and photographer with his grit.

It is with this same grit and Champion Mindset that sees him through the challenges he embarks on.

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Interview with The Straits Times
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Photo shoot at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
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Interview with STOMP, Singapore’s citizen journalism site
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Taking the heart rate of a reporter at MindChamps Medical @ OneKM

Come August 15, he will be taking on his next challenge, Dr Tan will attempt 65km of the Larapinta Trail, central Australia’s most spectacular bushwalking trekking trail, to raise funds for charity.

Although an accomplished sportsman, Dr Tan will be facing physical and mental challenges in the harsh Australian outback.

To attempt the rugged landscape requires a good level of bushwalking experience along the tracks that may be rough, hard and very steep.

The Larapinta trail is also home to many of the arid zone’s rare plants, as well as wild animals like dingoes, wallabies and snakes.

This will be the first time ever, a Singapore Paralympian will be taking on the trail in a wheelchair, as a matter of fact, the first time ever that a wheelchair will be allowed on the trails.

But it’s no wonder that an exception was made for him.

Dr Tan has devoted his life to championing as well raising funds for needy causes all over the world. He has helped raised more than $18million on a voluntary basis for charities locally and internationally over the last 22 years. 

“My experience with Stage 4 leukemia makes me think deeper into the legacy I am building. Notwithstanding I am eight years in remission, I maximize each day as if it is my last and endeavor to do more for humanity.”

His goal is to raise AUD15,000 to support indigenous education, health, research and community initiatives organised by the University of Newcastle Australia where he is an alumnus.

MindChamps’ social charter is committed to the creation of educational opportunities where there would not otherwise exist, as such MindChamps is proud to sponsor Dr William Tan’s Larapinta Trail Challenge.

MindChamps Founder and Group CEO, David Chiem,

“We are happy to contribute to this cause as it provides crucial support for Australian Indigenous students, giving us a chance to make a difference in their lives and to provide them with the opportunity to realise their fullest potential through education.”

Let’s wish Dr Tan a safe trip to the Australian outback!

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Get to know Dr William Tan

Dr William Tan is the resident doctor at MindChamps Medical @ OneKM. A multi-degree graduate of the National University of Singapore, as well as Newcastle, Auckland, Harvard and Oxford Universities.

Dr Tan is a highly-successful neuroscientist and medical doctor who has worked at renowned medical and research institutions, including the National Cancer Centre in Singapore.

An accomplished sportsman who devotes his time to championing and fundraising for needy causes worldwide, Dr Tan has raised over $18 million for children’s and medical charities, to date.