Johnny Simpkin will be running a 10k race for charity on the 11th November at Tatton Park in Cheshire. He will be raising funds for local charities Leigh Community Trust and Compassion In Action. He will take the story from here......
A few years ago I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma which is a tumor that was attached to my audio nerve. After suffering with it for as long as possible it was decided that it needed brain surgery to remove it and I underwent the procedure almost 3 years ago.
In the aftermath it was apparent that it would be a long recovery process which has turned out to be correct. It has left me completely deaf on my right hand side and I am still suffering with chronic pain in my head and neck and experience severe balance issues. Part of my recent recovery included walking on a treadmill to create a better sense of balance that lead to me running for short spells. After almost 7 years of not being able to exercise you can imagine my delight at discovering that I was still able to do something that as a soldier of 10 years had become second nature. I am now at the point where I feel ready for a challenge and so I decided that running for these 2 charities was something that I could give back in some way.
Compassion In Action is a local charity that does fantastic work within our community particularly with families in crisis, young carers and vulnerable individuals who may be feeling isolated and socially excluded. Our aim is to provide a place where these individuals can come together and join in with activities that will help them to build the skills and confidence to reintegrate back into the community. They have a distribution centre where they prepare furniture, food and clothing packages. All packages are referral-based and are tailored to meet the needs of the individual or family in need of support. Their 5* accredited food bank is the only food distribution service in the Wigan Borough to provide and deliver food hampers free of charge. SuperLeigh have supported them for a few years now and they were a natural choice for me to support. For more on Compassion In Action visit http://www.compassioninaction.info/
Leigh Community Trust have been involved in the community for many years and have consistently provided education through sport to children in local schools extremely successfully year after year. Part of their organisation is LCT Forces who do awesome work with local ex forces personnel helping them to integrate into the community. They also host the Leigh branch of Andy's Man Club, something that is very dear to my heart. Through my forces years and post operation I have suffered post traumatic stress, depression and anxiety problems. Through LCT Forces and Andy's Man Club I have found a way to deal with my problems and move forward with my life and so am eternally grateful. Hannah Forbes the trust's Programmes Director has very kindly agreed that any funds raised will go towards supporting the Andy's Man Club programme to enable it's attendees integrate socially and therefore helping them deal with a variety of problems. For more on Leigh Community Trust visit http://www.leighcommunitytrust.co.uk/
I am currently 2 weeks into an 8 week training programme aiming towards race day that has led me down a road I've not been for a while. All of my training up to now has been on a treadmill and in a straight line so I am now dealing with not having a rail to grab hold of and running round corners, up and down kerbs and trying to deal with crossing roads whilst running and not hearing traffic on my right is testing to the max. I'm not taking this task lightly and whilst my previous treadmill training has been done as and when I have felt able to do so I know that I have to stick to the task at hand regardless of the level of pain I'm in and this by far is providing me with my sternest test to date. My focus is the fact that I am raising money to help people who are in some ways less fortunate than me. I will try to keep you updated on my progress on SuperLeigh's Facebook and Twitter feeds. If you can help by donating any amount no matter how small I would be eternally grateful.
From the bottom of my heart,