In 1995 I was struck down with Glandular Fever. In 2001, the year of my final university exams, this then evolved into full blown M.E. (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
Until mid-2011 I had never known of life without this debilitating illness until the birth of my beautiful baby daughter, Olivia Phonphiphat McManus, who inspired me to seek cutting-edge assistance for an illness, which until only a couple of years ago, had no known medical cause/cure and was often scoffed at by the medical profession. Money was no obstacle, I needed to be physically and mentally able to look after my daughter.
What gave me my life back was a 3 day training course, performed by Heather Thomas, practitioner of the Lightning Process, in the Summer of 2011.
The LP has an astounding success rate in transforming the lives of M.E. sufferers with numerous high-profile testimonials.
LP information: http://www.lightningprocess.com/CFS-ME-Home/
Heather herself had a similar story to that of my own and by means of carefully thought-out techniques (involving both body and mind) helped give me the belief that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
Within one month of the Lightning Process course I had completed my first Sprint Triathlon in the gym and within another month my first Olympic Triathlon also in gym conditions. My first Ironman distance swim took place shortly afterwards in the pool - first breaststroke, then freestyle.
At that time I also promised Heather that I would wish to give something back to enable yet another person to have their life so greatly improved and to show my gratitude for all that she and the Lightning Process team did for me.
I am therefore swimming on 15th July 2012 from Hampton Court Bridge to Kingston Bridge on the River Thames to raise funds for Action for M.E., a registered charity who are doing some ground-breaking research into finding a definitive cure for M.E.
Event details: http://swimseries.humanrace.co.uk/events/hampton-court
I'd also like to raise particular awareness of the positive change that the Lightning Process brought to my life. The LP is not yet a registered charity but the research Action for M.E. are doing is of great value and will benefit all M.E. victims.
The distance of the swim is 3.65km which is almost the equivalent to the distances swimmers would do in an Ironman Triathlon event (3.8km). This will be the first time I have taken to swimming outdoors so there are lots of new unknown elements to deal with.
The event itself will require a wetsuit, cap, special goggles and anti-chafing gel (don't ask, ouch)!
Particular thanks go to Heather for her ongoing support, to my loving wife and family for their understanding and patience, to my company director James for providing me a compassionate environment in which to succeed and to give me every opportunity to recover, and also to my colleague Richard, who is a true Ironman and has helped provide me with swimming advice, triathlon magazines and kit recommendations.
I am not yet sure if I am going to do the event breast stroke or freestyle. I admit that I do find breaststroke a lot easier so if we hit the £400.00 mark prior to the event then freestyle it is. I am laying down the gauntlet to you all. I wouldn't wish to disappoint after all.
For those of you who can't quite fathom how easy/difficult the task at hand is, it will involve swimming for 2 hours or more in amongst hundreds of other swimmers in the cold and rainy British summer!
Lastly, the odds are high that somebody reading this story right know knows somebody or has heard of a friend of a friend who has M.E or “has to stay in bed all the time as they have no energy”. If you do, please can you get in touch with them and forward them the web link or enclosed video for the Lightning Process. I would also be happy to speak with them personally if they wish to take control of their own health.
All I ask for is £1 / €1 / $1 / 50 baht per person. No obligation to donate in large sums. I would far prefer that everyone truly enjoys giving a small sum than feel obligated to give a larger amount.
If you all give £1 / €1 / $1 / 50 baht then the target of £400.00 will be reached. It really doesn’t bother me if the £400.00 is hit now or later as I will be doing a few more events in the months/years ahead so anyone donating beyond that amount is going beyond the call of duty.
To put things into context, £1 / €1 / $1 / 50 baht means not buying a bottle of Coke or scratchcard on your next lunch break so I am sure we can all afford it.
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