Your friends are fundraising. Don't miss out, opt in.

76 %
£380.00
raised of £500 target
by 10 supporters
Donate
Paul Turner avatar
Paul Turner

Hike to support the St. James' University Hospital IBD Clinic, Leeds

hiking along Hadrian's Wall in six days for Leeds Cares because the clinic have helped me so much already!

76 %
£380.00
raised of £500 target
by 10 supporters
Donate

Leeds Cares

We support Leeds Teaching Hospitals to provide exceptional healthcare.

Charity Registration No. 1170369

Story

As some of you may know, I was originally diagnosed with Ulcerative Collitis in 2009, prior to coming to Leeds for my degree. The disease itself is quite debilitating, and is an auto-immune condition, making it effectively incurable with current medicine. It affects roughly 1 in every 350 people in the UK, young and old.
My first three years of University were tough, with numerous flares and several unpleasant procedures, with little to show for it. I was frequently exhausted as my own body attacked itself, causing inflammation in my joints, malnutrition and a slow, painful decay of bodily functions. Getting up, eating and not feeling like I'd been stabbed in the gut repeatedly was an achievement. By my third year, I had to drop out, as my health had deteriorated so much. Then, in early 2012, I was admitted to the IBD clinic at St. James' University Hospital. The consultants there gave me an MRI, and re-diagnosed me as having Crohn's Disease, a related condition that is often more severe than UC.
As you can probably imagine, being told that the disease you already struggle with on a daily basis is worse than first thought, tends to fill you with fear and worry. Thankfully, the clinic provides access to a dietitian, pharmacist, 9 gastroenterologists, 7 surgeons, 3 IBD specialist nurses and psychological support - and I always felt that somebody there actively cared about me.
After a few consultations, I was started on an immuno-suppressant called Azathioprine, and checked on regularly for the next 6 months. Since then, I've entered my final year of University, got on with my life and had only 1 minor flare in the past year.
I have been lucky, as many Crohn's sufferers do not get the standard of care I receive - even less get to a point where they feel they have control over their disease. Clinics like mine need our support, and your donation today could go towards expanding the clinic, new equipment for diagnostics or simply making sure that in a time of "austerity measures" we don't lose an essential service for so many people.

The Challenge
I said that the clinic has helped me get control over my disease - and this challenge will prove it. 5 other guys and myself will hike the full 85 mile length of Hadrian's Wall, in six days. Along the way, we will make small detours to visit sites of interest such as Vindolanda, pushing the total distance closer to the 100 mile mark. This works out at roughly 17 miles a day, over mostly rough terrain with a 30kg pack on your back. To put that in perspective, most people don't walk more than 3 miles in a day; we're looking to cover 6 times that on rugged dirt paths in the middle of the British summer. Two years ago, I would have baulked at such an absurd idea - today, I'm keen to prove that I control my disease, not that my disease controls me.

Please, dig deep, and remember, at 1 in every 350 people, you probably know someone that suffers from IBD.

- Paul

Photos

1

Supporters

10
Donate