Hey I'm Jake!
Last summer I had my right leg and half my pelvis cut off.
I know right.
It's wild isn't it.
How we got here
I had a rare primary bone cancer (Osteosarcoma) which affects about 160 people in the UK every year, most of whom are under 30. To treat the cancer I had a three months of chemo, a 14 hour surgery, 9 more months of chemo, kidney failure, turned into a ghost, and too many hospital meals than I care to think about. The thought of anything with custard makes me retch.
That's all quite depressing though. If you want to read more about it check out
Where we're going
If you lose all the leg, like all of it, you're within 1-2% of the amputee population, If you lose the hip as well (Hemipelvectomy) you're a smaller percentage of that. There aren't many things out there that can help me walk never mind run.
With that in mind it's a miracle I can walk so getting into the business of racing again is going to be quite tricky. I've always been pretty active. I was a competitive swimmer growing up and have done a load of triathlons and half marathons since. Which is where I really want to be again. Not just doing them though. Winning them.
I've been making some early moves in para-swimming, wheelchair racing, and I'm currently classifying as a wheelchair athlete for para-triathlon. I can do short runs and a bit of cycling with my one leg. The problem is my amputation is too high for a running prosthetic - so I'll destroy my shoulders running on crutches and cycling one legged will wreck the leg I do have. If I'm going to compete at any level in a wheelchair or triathlon, the wheelchair and hand cycle need to be made to fit. They aren't cheap either. Coming in at £5,000 and £10,000 respectively.
That's why I need some help. It's a lot of money so I'm going to have to get a bit silly with it. I'm going to do a range of elaborate and ridiculous things you wouldn't think someone with half a bum can to nudge you in the right direction. It's a big gamble, but if at the end of the day it just means I can go for a long cycle or do another marathon it'll be worth it. I lost my leg not myself.
What we're doing
It's spinning a lot of plates at the minute so you'll have to bear with me.
Climb Conic Hill June 12th 2021
Great Cumbrae Cycle (3 laps, 30 miles, one legged cycle) TBC June 2021
Arran Cycle (1 lap, 55 miles, one legged cycle) TBC July 2021
South Shields - Marsden swim (3 miles) 29th July 2021 RNLI fundraiser
(Team fundraiser with Tyne and Wear RNLI Beach Lifeguards)
Tough Mudder Yorkshire (5km with obstacles on crutches) 31st July 2021
Tough Runner Glasgow Sprint Triathlon (750m swim, 25km one legged cycle, 5km run w/crutches) 8th August 2021
Go Swim Loch Lomond (5km swim) 28th August 2021
Loch Morlich Aquathon (750m swim, 5km run w/crutches) 18th September 2021
The list is pretty fluid, things will be added and some might disappear. If anyone wants to come along to anything or do anything themselves please give me a shout.
To be honest I'm just holding out to for a sponsorship deal from Greggs.
Why we're doing it
The first thing I asked the clinical nurse who still has to deal with my nonsense was if I would still be able to ride my bike. As awkwardly as possible he said no without saying no. I only have half a bum so I'm lucky to do what I can.
I have always been active. Losing my childhood to a swimming pool, then completing triathlons and half marathons in my early twenties. Throughout a long year of treatment, having my body and fitness taken away from me, one of the prevailing thoughts that got me through was competing at as high a level in para-sport as possible. Early on I realised I will do a lot more with one leg than I would have with two.
If by some miracle this gets as far as the money for the wheelchair, and then an even greater miracle the hand cycle I will be eternally grateful. A big step closer towards doing the things I used to love that aren't as simple these days. It is ridiculous whenever I think about it never mind say it out loud. Paris 2024 is the goal. I'm not sure what I'll be doing, but it's something to aim for. It's been a long road to this point but the fun is just getting started.
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