Sickbed to Summits
After a few months of feeling unwell, my life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Following a haemorrhage and major brain surgery that left me unable to walk, with impaired vision and balance, as well as permanent profound hearing loss, I have been focused on getting back everything the tumour took away from me, and much more.
Now I’m sharing the story of how I overcame adversity to get from sickbed to summits.
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From schools to businesses, I share what I have learnt since my diagnosis to inspire and teach, and discuss how developing a positive mindset and goal setting has helped me to fulfil my dreams.
I have developed and delivered a number of talks for people of all ages, from children to adults, drawing on what I have learnt during my journey.
Key points include:
- Disability Awareness
- Overcoming Adversity
- Challenging your fears
- The importance of goal setting
- Responding to ever changing and challenging situations
- Making the most of life
Forthcoming Challenges and Events
25th July 2020
Sandstone Trail Solo Challenge
Given the impact of Covid-19 on various sporting events, I have taken the plunge and devised this event, which will be my first ever ultra distance event.
I will be using this event and others this year to support The British Acoustic Neuroma Association (BANA) and Brain Tumour Research charities. I hope to highlight the vital work they do and raise funds to help them continue their work.
12/13 June 2021
Lake District Ultra Challenge
This is my ever first ultra event. It covers a total distance of 100km around the Lake District, with 2650 meters of ascent. Training with neuro fatigue is not easy, and so I have enlisted the help of Jon Fearne to come up with a training programme that helps to build stamina and endurance, whilst not leaving me wiped out in bed after each session. So far, so good! You can find out more about Jon and his approach to endurance and adventure sports coaching here.
Once again, I am taking on this challenge in order to raise awareness and to fundraise for both BANA and Brain Tumour Research.
What People Say…
“Absolutely amazing story, truly inspiring!”S Cooke, Manchester
“Amazing story, it was great meeting you today.”M Brown, Whalley, Blackburn
“Thank you so much for the hidden disabilities training tonight. After you’d left the staff were still asking questions about you. They were so inspired and appreciated the messages you gave.”K Carruthers, Head Teacher, Upton Westlea Primary School
“You should be proud of yourself, what an inspiration you are… brought tears to my eyes today watching you give such an amazing talk… and watching your story.”J Gregory, Kegworth
“Just dropping you a line to say a MASSIVE thank you for being involved on Saturday, we have had such positive feedback and your input was so instrumental in that. Many many thanks.”J Dixon, CEO British Acoustic Neuroma Association
I have been involved with The British Acoustic Neuroma Association, also known as BANA, since the time of my diagnosis.
They provided a lifeline to me and my family at what was an incredibly difficult time. Through speaking events and undertaking challenges, I have raised funds to help them continue their work to support individuals and families going through acoustic neuroma diagnosis and treatment.
With support from the charity, I have also been able to raise awareness of the issues faced by patients navigating treatment options within the NHS, and have contributed letter templates that can be used to inform local MPs of the situation, which have been distributed to BANA members.
You can find out more on their website.
I have recently been asked to share my story by the charity Brain Tumour Research. Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer… yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Brain Tumour Research are the only national charity in the UK dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours and are a leading voice calling for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer. To find out more about their vision, visit their website.
You can read more about my story here and others’, on the In Hope section of the charity’s website.
14th February 2020 iNews.co.uk
20th February 2020 Cheshire Live
21st February 2020 Liverpool Echo
22nd February 2020 Daily Mirror
June 2020 – Runner’s World
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