Wouldn’t it be great to cycle Lands End to John O’Groats sometime someone suggested on one of our Fietsclub Sunday outings. That’s about 1,600km (1,000 miles) with at least 17,000 metres (58,000 feet) of climbing – about twice the height of Everest! Who would be foolish enough to take that challenge on! As if it’s not tough enough it has to be completed in 7 days!
Well it turns out that a few beers in the Grey Horse was enough to expose Andy Hoggarth, John Grindley and David Heneghan as that foolish. On July 6th, 2019 the three will begin their attempt to complete the route. In preparation they will attempt a “trial run” known as “STJOG” (Stranraer to John O’Groats) at the end of May in 3 days to test the bikes and the legs.
While every muscle will ache for the 7 days some great charities will benefit. The aim is to raise at least £10,000 for two great causes both of which are have strong relevance to the three of us and to Balerno.
The first is Aspergillosis an illness caused by a fungus that for those with it can be extremely debilitating.
The second is to support S4 and S5 students in Balerno High School who are travelling to Tanzania in June 2020 with the Vine Trust. They will help in the construction of a small individual home to support a family living in severe poverty in a village. Tanzania is a country where more than 36% of the population live below the poverty line.
John, Andy and David would be delighted if you would share the journey with us by following and sharing our blogs on whatever social media you use. We would also be delighted if you can help ease the journey for us by donating whatever you can to either of the charities links to which are below.
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to follow the link to this fundraising page. You will be here because you knew the love of my life, my soul mate and, most recently, my wife Celia Cooper-Clayton (nee Clayton) also a beloved daughter of Thelma Clayton and adored sister of Adrian Clayton. Like us you are probably still coming to terms with the shocking news of her passing and trying to understand why. The exact cause of death is still the subject of a post-mortem and ongoing Coroner’s investigation but the most likely culprit, and the condition for which she was being treated, is a little know fungal disease called Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis, one of a number of fungal infections that are becoming worryingly more common today.
Celia sadly passed away on 20th April 2019 at the age of just 54 after what, in hindsight, seems like a rapid deterioration following an initial diagnosis in January. For Celia the anti-fungal drugs she was prescribed were sadly ineffective and every day that passed was a day which allowed the infection to cause ever more irreparable damage. I have since read that more than 50% of people with Invasive Aspergillosis die even with treatment. This is why it is so important to raise awareness and to support much needed research into new treatments.
In Celia’s memory we would like to support The Fungal Infection Trust (FIT). This is a little-known charity which works tirelessly to raise monies for research into fungal infection, to improve the diagnosis and treatment of fungal illnesses and to increase the awareness of their impact. In particular it supports clinical research projects at the National Aspergillosis Centre in the Manchester, UK.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for any donation that you might consider making in Celia’s memory no matter how small. She was an amazing woman who touched so many lives in her short life. I truly hope that some good can now come out of her untimely death.
Please help me raise awareness about aspergillosis, a condition that I’ve had for about 11 years. Aspergillosis is a term for a range of serious fungal infections, usually in lungs and sinuses. It’s due to the fungus Aspergillus, which is in soil and decaying plant matter.
Any funds donated to Aspergillosis Trust will go directly to the Fungal Infection Trust. This is for much needed research into aspergillosis, to help find better ways of detecting and managing it. Currently as many as 1 in 5 patients have antifungal-resistant aspergillosis – I’m one of them!
Aspergillosis Trust aim to raise awareness so that it is diagnosed and treated earlier, as this helps outcomes. Asthma flare-ups, despite using inhalers correctly? Chest infections not improving with antibiotics? Choking-coughing fits, sometimes with blood? Please see your GP and ask about aspergillosis.
I’m going to be doing a Skydive in August to raise money for two charities very close to my heart. The charities I am raising money for are Brain Tumour Research and Aspergillosis Trust. These charities badly needs funds to aid in the research to fight back against these potentially deadly illnesses.
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