The '7 C's Challenge'
(Or, '6 cycles and 1 Swim'!)
Seven challenges - 12 months - 1 goal - £50,000
My name is Peter Reynolds and up until April 2016, I was leading a normal life. Working hard, keeping fit, eating sensibly, never smoking or drinking. Then, my ordeal began. I fell ill as the result of an auto-immune disease. I was told I needed a liver transplant to save my life. It all happened incredibly quickly. How was I to know that 1 in 10 people in the UK suffered from liver disease, and that it remains the fifth biggest killer of men and women here? Shocker? Yes. Choker? Yes. But that's life as they say. Or, should I say, that was my life - saved!
You see, my wife, Sylvia, and two boys, Jay and Phil, were outstanding in their support of me. We agreed together that if this was going to end well, it was all about staying positive and working together as a family. We even called ourselves 'Team Reynolds'. We are all sporty and we all appreciate the benefits of teamwork. When you all pull together and go the extra mile, it's amazing what you can achieve. So, especially during the dark times. I never felt alone. I always had the comfort of knowing Team Reynolds was with me. Maybe not physically at that moment in time, but they were in my heart and in my thoughts.
To my amazement, all our talk of togetherness began to rub off on those around us. The positivity we generated and the team spirit we enjoyed seemed to become infectious. Team Reynolds began to rapidly expand as more and more people invested in our approach. From being myself, my wife and sons, the team began to assimilate the health care assistant's at QEHB, the nurses (ward and specialist), porters, cleaners, psychologists, doctors, right through to the head surgeon of my transplant team. It made an enormous difference to my mental, physical and emotional state, as well as acting as a wonderful catalyst to my recovery. Team Reynolds was here to stay - and growing bigger with each day!
Within three months of being diagnosed with my illness, I had received a liver transplant and was on the road to recovery. Within one week of the transplant, I was released from hospital. Within one month of release, I was back on my turbo-trainer indoors and within another month, I was back cycling on the road. Don't try to tell me we don't have the best NHS in the world!
With 3000km of training on the road already under my belt, I'm feeling positive about the future!
Now, all I want to do, is give someone else the same life-saving chance I was given. Not because I have to, but because I want to. For me, it's only right to give something extra back. Don't you agree? Not because you are forced to, but simply because you want to #GIVESOMETHINGBACK
Well, whilst recovering, I learned that it costs the NHS £50,000 to pay for a liver transplant. So, in an effort to repay them, the Liver Foundation UK, the staff at QEHB and in honour of my donor and his family, I have set out to raise that amount. I want somebody else to have a life-saving chance, just like the one I have had. With your help, that's exactly what we can do!
So, starting in September 2017, I start completing:
The '7C's Challenge'
Seven challenges - 12 months - 1 goal - £50,000
1. September 2017 - Birmingham Velo cycle 161 km
2. April 2018 - Coast to Coast cycle 237 km
3. May 2018 - Coast and Castles cycle 322 km
4. June 2018 - Giants Causeway cycle 145 km
5. June 2018 - Great North Swim, Lake Windermere, 2 miles
6. July 2018 - Pride of London cycle 161 km
7. August 2018 - London to Paris Cycle 398 km
(Dates subject to change depending upon weather conditions)
Among many things I learned last year, I became very much aware that you NEVER know when something like this could happen to you. Who knows who'll be next person to need that life-saving opportunity? Who's husband, wife, son, daughter, sibling, grandchild? There is one thing I know for certain. If it's you who needs it, the NHS will be there to serve you. It is, in my experience, bursting at the seams with QP's; quality people. People who are passionate about helping you and me, yours and mine. Quality people who seldom ask for, expect or receive, the thanks and gratitude they deserve. They do it because they care.
I have new heroes now ...
If you want to read more on my journey, please go on to my Facebook page. I will keep you posted on how my training is going and how I cope with each of the 7 challenges. There will be good times and tough times, but it would great to have you sharing my path. If you want to donate any amount, that will be hugely appreciated. However, if you just aren't in a position to do that, but want to send me any positivity, that will also be very much welcomed. Please feel free to leave me a message on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. With your help, we can do this! Together, we can save a life!
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