Have I ‘really’ Finally Seen Sense?
In 1997, I began my unfortunate relationship with sight loss, when a freak accident with a soft fluffy indoor football, took the sight in my right eye. I didn’t take the hint and continued to play rugby until 2012 when, whilst on a rugby tour to Asia, I contracted a rare parasitic infection in the other eye. This left me pretty much completely blind for a few weeks. This was a huge shock and a real ‘eye opener’ (sorry) to the plight of those suffering sight loss. After getting my sight back, I ‘Finally Saw Sense’: I retired from playing rugby and started to raise funds for Blind Veteran’s UK
In 2013, unfortunately, blindness reared its ugly head once more, when my Father was diagnosed with Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). This caused him to lose his sight over a matter of weeks, leaving him mobile but unable to read, write or drive. This has had a huge impact on him, affecting his quality of life and confidence. I know that with help and training he will be able to regain ‘a’ quality of life but this takes time, training and acceptance. Since 1915, Blind Veterans UK’s have helped veterans relearn vital life skills and has provided them with the tools, training and recreation opportunities as well as long-term nursing, residential and respite care. They also help their members learn the three As of ‘acceptance’, ‘adaptation’ and ‘achievement’ at the Brighton, Llandudno and Sheffield centres.
I had a really successful year in 2014 raising over 6,000 pounds for Blind Veterans UK. This year I have a couple of smaller events but none the less challenges.
See below for the main events for last year . . .
So what are the Challenges?
Having been forced to retire from playing rugby in 2012, I became the fattest man in the world and under duress, started cycling in May 2013. I only wish I had discovered this superb sport whilst still serving. Based on this new found passion, I decided that this ‘campaign’ should be on two wheels and have planned two major challenges:
This is the event that motivated me to take on the year of challenges. I felt this was the ideal opportunity to show my REspect, whilst raising funds. On 4th August 2014, I took part in ‘Unite and Bike for Heroes’, a 530km memorial ride across Northern France passing through Ypres, Arras, Amiens, Compiègne before arriving in Paris. During the four day ride, I was able to pay my respects at a number of the major battlefields and memorials.
I also took on Chase the Sun last year. This ride starts on the Kent coast at sunrise on the summer solstice and take us to Chatham, Minley, Sandhurst and over Salisbury Plain and the Cheddar Gorge before we reach the West coast some 330km later. The aim being, to complete the ride by sunset, just 16 hrs, 38 mins and 19 secs later! (To put this in perspective, this is the distance between Chatham and Liverpool in less than 17 hours!).
Having done this in 2014, I did it again in 2015 and am entered again for 2016! Nowt so weird as folk!
Thank you all
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