In January 2020 I will hopefully set sail to Antartica. The expedition is in aid of the Blyth Tall Ships Charity and I am also raising money for the brain tumour charity.
200 years ago Antartica was discovered from a ship built in the small North East town of Blyth, Northumberland.
The Williams was built and owned by a Captain William Smith a man born and raised in Blyth. On the anniversary of this British achievement in 2019, it is The Williams Expeditions aims to build a modern replica of the Williams ship in Blyth to recreate the original expedition with a local crew.
The expedition aims to showcase the North East talent, engineering and technology on a world stage and in conjunction with Newcastle University undertaking meaningful marine science.
I also want to raise money for the brain tumour charity. The charity is very close to my heart as in April 2018 my Dad died after suffering from his 9th brain tumour. My dad had been ill for 18 years of my life, with constant surgeries and radiation therapy. He lost his speech on numerous occasions and suffered from seizures and strokes. My dad tried to continue to work through his illness but eventually had to give up work due to loss of mobility. Towards the end of his life, his personality changed and he was not the person I called 'dad'. Some days he would recognise me and sometimes he wouldn't. Before he died my dad told me to go and live, that's easier than it sounds.
I decided I wanted to raise money to help fund and research brain tumours as just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this disease. With a survival rate of only 14%, more research and awareness is needed.
Sailing to Antartica seems the most logical decision. I have never been sailing, I don't like the cold but I want to push myself to the limits because my dad didn't give up and neither will I.