Thank you for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
Three years ago I developed a life changing condition called COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME (CRPS) which affects my left leg. CRPS is a complex incurable neurological disorder which causes chronic unrelenting pain, burning sensation, temperature changes (extreme hot and cold), discolouration of the skin, hypersensitivity, muscle atrophy as well as many other symptoms. Due to the affects of CRPS, I can now only walk very short distances with the use of crutches and have to use a mobility scooter for anything more than a few yards.
Needing surgery after discovering I had a congenital foot deformity, I spent months in agony after the operation and I wasn't making any progress in terms of weight bearing or being able to walk. This took a huge toll on my emotional wellbeing and I became very depressed. A year after my surgery, I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Having previously been very athletic and enjoying a number of sports, I found my new life very difficult to cope with. Sport seemed very much out of reach due to the nature of the condition and the level of pain even the slightest knock would cause. Cycling had always been my biggest passion but I was no longer able to balance on a solo bike.
Then, I discovered Charlotte's Tandems, a charity who lend disabled people tandems for a couple of months. I picked up a bike a year ago and so my life changed and my idea for doing LEJOG was born.
The majority of my training has been done on a tandem over the past 16 months, but I have now decided to do use another form of cycling.
On the 9th of September, I will begin the long and arduos ride from Lands End to John O'Groats, a distance of 1140 miles, on a recumbent trike. I will be riding solo for most of it but will have cyclists joining me along the way for a few miles here and there. I have decided to use a camper for accommodation, which will give me flexibility and lessen the stress of getting to a pre- booked destination.
I am hoping to complete the challenge in no more than 17 days, cycling between 60 and 90 miles a day which will largely depend on the type of terrain and my pain levels. I am only able to cycle one legged (my left one just follows) which affects my performance.
The reason for setting myself such a challenge, is to raise awareness of this debilitating condition that can happen to anyone and to raise much needed funds for research.
To read more about me and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, please visit my website www.lejog-crps.co.uk
Twenty percent of the money raised will be donated to Charlotte's Tandems to help them keep up their good work. Ten percent will be donated to the Royal Wootton Bassett Town Rotary Club who helped me in the initial planning of my challenge. The remaining seventy percent will go to the Pain Relief Foundation, which is a Research Charity that works entirely on finding the causes of chronic pain conditions like CRPS , and developing new and innovative ways of treating them and seeking cures. At present, no one understands or knows what causes CRPS and many other chronic pain conditions, but I know that with the best support and funding, the Scientists and Doctors at Pain Relief Foundation in Liverpool, will find the answers.
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