Weʼre raising £10,000 to secure facilities for people with back/spinal injuries to support each other and enhance well-being.
- Scarborough, United Kingdom
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Hi to you all, my name is Tim, I live near Scarborough, I am 53 years old, married with 7 children,
I am trying to raise £10,000 to secure a facility to use for an initial two years as a drop-in centre for people who have a long term back/spinal injury.
A back injury manifests itself in many different ways and each individual sufferer has a dreadful struggle trying to deal with these manifestations, often in the long term with little help or understanding. Many people have the support of family and friends but they can only help to a point. For the sufferer, the pain is often relentless and is very hard to subdue even with the strongest, opiate-based pain killers.
The pain however, is only part of the problem. For people who have had an active life and have been in long-term employment, the loss of work and work-place associates/friends can be devastating; adjusting to a very different life, often with limited mobility and with few people who can truly relate to the pain. As time goes on, life can become repetitive and dull with very little in the way of stimulation or fun outside of close family and friends. At times, it seems there is no hope of a future.
I have been through this. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with severe degeneration of the spine, spinal arthritis and six ruptured discs. I was forced to stop work and retire after almost 20 years running my own Agricultural Engineering business and 5 more years as a joiner. I spent six months unable to walk and another six learning to walk again. That was the start of one of the biggest and hardest battles of my life, and still is today.
What nearly all people in this world need is to be needed, a purpose in life if they are to stay happy and mentally stable. The two factors of being unable to work and living with constant pain, lend themselves well to depression. And depression can be difficult to manage once it has you in its grip. On days when I did find myself feeling a little better I would simply sit there trying to enjoy the nearly pain-free time. However, as time went by I started to realise my life was trickling away day by day, I was accomplishing very little and this was compounding my negative thoughts and feelings.
I started trying to use this time to greater effect. I had always been a fan of motorsport and so I started, with the help of friends, to spectate at car rallies. This entailed packing the car boot with a fold up camp bed, a fluffy blanket and plenty of pain killers! This led to marshalling at rallies with the help of a supportive motor club, and in time, a slight upturn in my mood. My wonderful wife saw the change in me and said something that would change my life for the better, "why don't you get an old car to mess with?" Soon after the car was acquired! Over many months, and with the help of great friends and family, (and good use of ebay second hand parts!) the car has been restored and even prepared for historic rallying. I have also been able to compete in the odd rally myself. Not the best hobby for a back injury you might think, but as Historic rallying is one of the more genteel motorsports, (30mph is about the top speed with the odd gravel test here and there), but somehow when I compete my pain seems to reduce. I am sure this is due to adrenalin, a natural pain inhibiter, but more importantly, it helps me to feel totally alive again.
I would like to open a unit where people with long-term back injuries – or any long-term injury that causes pain and alienates them from daily life - are invited to come, when able, and help with an ‘old car’ project. Maybe compete in the odd rally as a team, or just turn up, have a cuppa and chat to other people who really do understand the implications of living with debilitating pain. This opportunity might help people to share their knowledge and skills, which in turn will bring stimulation, interaction, friendship and purpose to their lives. Many victims of spinal injuries do not have the space or help for a project that interests them, neither do they have the money to spend on it. By joining forces we could do it together.
I am living proof that this kind of practical intervention helps with long-term ill-health. All I want now, is to help people like me overcome the stigma, solitude, depression and loneliness that living with a back injury can bring. Please help if you can, or spread the word to those who could benefit.
Thank you for reading.
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Tim Bradley started crowdfunding
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Sep 30, 2017
Hope you soon get flesh on the bones of this idea Tim
Sep 29, 2017
What an insight into the effect of long term debilitating back pain. Hope you reach your goal xx
Sep 26, 2017
Good luck in this venture my friend. Hopefully the beginning of many donations x
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About the fundraiser
Scarborough, United Kingdom
I have had a spinal injury for over 10 years and understand the impact this has on a person's well-being. Life can become dull, solitary and incredibly difficult emotionally. I would like to provide others with an opportunity to try and change this through shared interests.
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