My name is Joanne (or RoboJo) and since the age of 26 I have suffered with Rheumatoid Arthritis. This debilitating disease changed my life, I had to give up work and 17 years on I've had 2 joint replacements and 4 other surgeries to correct deformities caused by the RA, with a few other operations on the horizon. I am fortunate to have a wonderful GP, Rheumatology team and Orthopaedic surgeon who keeps me going (even if it means I'm being turned into a cyborg!)Another important part of my life is the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) I have been a member and volunteer for them for a number of years now, and they really have made a difference to my quality of life, helping others has made me feel that I'm not left on the scrapheap. I would like to raise some funds for this patient led charity to help raise awareness about RA not only with the general public but also with the medical professionals. NRAS offer help and support for the long term management of RA, which can affect people of any age.
So with this in mind my fund raising activity is..The Great Rail Race, 8th/9th September 2009
The great rail race won’t involve me cycling long distances, leaping out of a plane, or anything strenuous at all (i'm not up to that just yet!).. My plan is to travel from Birmingham to Inverness and back to Birmingham by train.
What’s the big deal with that I hear you ask? Ohh did I not mention that I’d be going via Penzance and London on the outward journey, and returning via York on the last leg. My plan is to complete the challenge in 2 days, and I plan to blog the entire journey as it progresses.
I’ve always loved rail travel, and this journey would take me to some wonderfully scenic parts of the UK and hopefully raise some funds for NRAS. My itinerary should be as follows:
Cross Country Trains XC151000
Birmingham New Street d 07.12
Plymouth a 10.48
First Great Western GW110100
Plymouth d 11.18
Penzance a 13.18
First Great Western GW121300
Penzance d 14.00
London Paddington a 19.24
First Scotrail SR270307
London Euston d 21.16
Inverness a 08.30 (Wednesday)
First Scotrail SR041000
Inverness d 09.18
Perth a 11.33
First Scotrail SR530600
Perth d 11.59
Edinburgh a 13.19
Cross Country XC175000
Edinburgh d 14.08
Birmingham New Street a 19.08
I've had a call from Val at NRAS HQ today, it seems that First Scotrail have kindly donated a sleeping berth for the London - Inverness leg of my journey next week.
So my thanks go to First Scotrail for their very generous donation
I've just had notification that First Great Western have kindly upgraded me to first class on both legs of my journey with them which is from Plymouth to Penzance, and the Penzance to London Paddington leg.So my thanks go to First Great Western for their very generous donation.
Update 04/09/09,Well what can I say! I simply can't express my sincere thanks to everyone enough, to those who have donated to my fund raiser, yesterday afternoon my target of £250 was broken, as the hours count down towards the start of my journey, I'm really looking forward to it.Update 04/09/09 I really am overwhelmed this evening, a good friend Sherri and the Security and Police of SO17 at The Palace of Westminster have donated a huge £101 towards my rail race this evening.
Update 07/09/09Over the weekend, the total raised has gone up to an amazing £472!! I've had notification this morning that Cross Country Trains have also upgraded me to First Class on their two services which I'll be using on my journey, My thanks again to everyone who has donated. As a result of my original target getting smashed, I've now raised it slightly after some advice from some other fund raisers.
Update: 12/09/09Well I completed my trip, met some wonderful people en route, saw some wonderful scenery and had a great experience on the whole journey. I've got some pics up on my flickr page (there are more but I've exceeded my monthly upload limit) you can find the small selection here http://www.flickr.com/photos/joannec/sets/72157622322073530/ sorry about the quality of some of them, they were taken from the train.
Finally I'd like to thank everyone who has been so kind in their donations, I really can't express my sincere thanks to you all for the wonderful support I've had from friends, NRAS members, my new friends on the XRV forum and the Security and Police of SO17 at The Palace of Westminster.
Thank you all once again, :)Jo.
You'll be able to follow the Great NRAS Rail Race at the following sites:
it's blog page http://nrasgreatrailrace.wordpress.com/On Twitter, look for the #nrasgrr tags
It will also appear on Facebook and I've set up a Google Map for the event
Thank you for your help and support :)Joanne