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Help for Wessex Neuro!

£9,156 of £8,000 goal

Raised by 137 people in 4 months
In November 2014 I was diagnosed with a 4th ventricular ependymoma brain tumour which was removed in the December at Southampton General Hospital. The level of care post-surgery was nothing short of absolutely fantastic from ICU right through to my eventual discharge, as well as the care and support I still receive from them 4 years on.

After my surgery I lost the ability to speak, swallow (so I needed another procedure to allow me to be tube fed), I couldn't breathe well by myself so I needed another operation for a tracheotomy, I had very bad double vision, I had to relearn how to walk again and a host of other symptoms, fortunately, against all odds, all of these symptoms have all but gone thanks to the care I have had. I feel they have gone far beyond what I could have ever expected, as has the final result of my surgery and recovery.

A few photos of my time in hospital can be found here:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vqCiLL3xLLAs36FH1RGvJGQEqjDD5quK

I want to raise money for them so they can keep doing the wonderful job they do!

They are after a new machine which will allow surgeons to better navigate to the specific area of the brain they need to work on. This machine will cost approximately £50,000 and any contribution towards this would be massively appreciated. It will help others who need similar surgery to what I had, and will reduce the likelihood of post-operative complications.

My challenge? Something known as "Everesting". It involves finding a hill, cycling up and down it until you have climbed the elevation gain of Mount Everest, which is 8848m or 29030ft. This is something I am genuinely not sure whether I can do or not....but I like a good challenge! Why choose something like this? Why not! After my surgery it felt like my recovery was going to be like climbing Mount Everest....and I got through that, so let me see if I can cycle the elevation of it.

The date is not 100% confirmed yet, but I am looking some time in March or April 2019 on a Saturday....weather permitting (I don't fancy around 20 hours or whatever in the rain when another day is fine!). The rules at https://everesting.cc say I must do a Strava segment, and this is the hill I shall be doing it on

https://www.strava.com/segments/935024

Yes, that's 102 times up Portsdown Hill....In a day!
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Well, where do I begin?

First, I guess..... It's done!

https://strava.app.link/0j4Lzptt9U
And I'm officially on the Everesting Hall of Fame

https://everesting.cc/hall-of-fame/#/hill/2221046071

It took me 15 hours and 20mins or so of riding and 16 hours 39mins. 102 laps wasn't enough.... My GPS ticked over the magic 29030 near the top of the 104th climb, but just to make sure I ended up doing 105 ascents!

Physically, I didn't feel TOO bad, this was a real mental battle. 5 hours in thinking "I've got over 10 hours to go" is quite difficult, especially with a very, very strong headwind going up the hill! So mentally it was tough but I can assure you that mentally it pales into insignificance compared to how I felt after my surgery, this was a walk in the park (well, within reason!).

The M27 closure didn't help which increased traffic volume considerably, but it wasn't the end of the world.

A huge, huge thanks goes to all of the AMAZING people who came out to support me, not just to ride with me but standing at the side of the road in the wind and, briefly, the rain as well. You know who you are and you are the heroes of the day! The support meant a huge, huge amount to me.

Another thanks goes to every single one of you who has donated, who have shared my page, talked about it and spread the word. The amount raised is, frankly, awe-inspiring and every person who has donated has been a part of that YOU are the ones who've done that, I'm just the person who organised it, but it is all of you amazing people who have put the money down!

I must confess, that whilst I love cycling I'm looking forward to a couple of gentle weeks now. I have been training SO hard for so many months now I feel I was soon going to mentally burn out. It'll be nice to unwind and have a bit more free time! That said.... I have the day off work.... Should I go for a ride?!?!

One final thing..... Do I ever have to ride up Southwick Hill again? Please say no....
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The forecast isn't very good when it comes to the wind! It's basically a direct headwind up the hill! However, I am still going ahead and I will just accept the fact that it may add 30-60mins or so onto the already very long day. It'll be even more of an achievement, I guess!
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Yesterday I basically confirmed Sunday 17th would be the day....this morning, the wind forecast has picked up which is somewhat irritating! Providing it doesn't get any stronger, Sunday will still be the day. If it does, then I shall postpone to the following weekend - but I do just want this done!
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Just a little update, I am hoping the weather forecast is kind, if the weather isn't too bad..... Then I will be giving this a crack next weekend (Saturday or Sunday 16th/17th). Currently it's showing as potential for showers and drizzle.... But that can change. The only other irritation is I'll be having a direct headwind going up the hill. Doing it in March or April it's unlikely to ever be perfect conditions, but if it isn't raining..... Next weekend will be the one. I have plenty of scope for dates but I want to get this thing done now! Thanks for all of your support so far.
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£9,156 of £8,000 goal

Raised by 137 people in 4 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Wessex Neurological Centre Trust
Certified Charity
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Southampton, Hampshire
Charity Number: 286277
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