Anyone that knows me or my medical history knows that since the age of 8
life has not been plain sailing due to the development of Perthes disease in my
In short - I have decided to push myself harder than I ever have done
before in my life and pedal my fat arse from London to Brighton in order to
raise much needed funds for the Perthes Association.
The not so short version and the reasons for me doing this are...... For the last 29 years I have been restricted in many ways due to the effects of the many trips
to theatre for surgery and the limitations I have had to work within to
preserve the 'modified' structure that now carries me around! I have moaned for
years that I need to lose weight and be more active, always coming back to the
fact that if I am more active I will end up in more pain and then swerving it!
This has caused me to add the pounds and move even further away from exercise.
Following a long, drawn out process to establish what was causing me the
pain and the other issues that came with the disease the process of many
hospital visits and in turn lots of reconstructive surgery, months in a
3/4 body plaster cast coupled with the time I then had to be pushed around on a
special flat/laydown trolley. This caused a lot of stress for me but more so
for my parents. They were the ones that were tasked with making the
decisions for my treatment when the options were offered. They were the
ones that needed help that the Doctors and Nurses simply couldn't provide as
they just did not know enough about the situation to give suitable advice.
Our journey continued well into my twenties with lots of hospital visits
and surgery adding and removing metalwork, pain relief injections etc.
Whilst I had managed to find a way to live with my pain and managed things
took a turn for the worse in 2015. I had a fall and fractured my pelvis.
This has been a huge setback for me and had only compounded the theory of
avoiding too much activity in order to protect myself. I was then invited to
take part in a special rehabilitation programme at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital which
has changed my outlook and my approach to life.
Whilst my pain levels are still high I am being much more positive about
what I can do rather than what I can’t or even worse - what I think I
shouldn't! So as a way to break this cycle and prove to myself that I can
actually do this I am pedaling from the capital to the coast (hopefully within
5 hours too!!) in order to raise some money for the Perthes Association.
The Perthes Association (www.perthes.org.uk) came into play way back in 1988/89 with support and advice for my parents and
equipment for me. Without their support, I can’t imagine how we would have
dealt with this almost, lifelong situation. With your help, I would like
to donate as much as we can in order to help as many children and their
families as possible with support, equipment but more than anything the
hope that whilst being realistic - Anything is possible.
My personal motto for this event is quite simply - Attitude is
Please give what you can. At least I can
then spend the weeks after recovering and suffering feeling proud of what we
have all managed to provide.
I would like to finish here by saying a huge thank you to my Mom and Pops
for all of their care and support but ALSO a huge thank you to my beautiful
wife, Claire. She has been through so much of this with me over the past 21
years. Putting up with my moaning, physical and psychological problems that having this disease has caused.
I love you all, Mark
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