BEAT THE BEAST CHALLENGE

I, Archie Douglas, have been left brain damaged by a brain tumour, its treatment, and each and everyone of the more severe epileptic seizures. Despite kicking the tumour into touch, the expectation very much remains that my tumour will return, that I will die because of this tumour rather than in spite of it. Having been written off as permanently unemployable, by both the NHS and the MoD, I am using diet, exercise, golf and music, as vehicles on which to keep my brain tumour at bay, while retraining and strengthening my brain to become useful again. As I do so, I seek to inspire you to either, individually challenge me , through your sposnsorship, to keep fighting to save lives, or to organise simple and fun, life-saving events raising £80 to save a life through the Disasters Emergency Committee. By saving lives you help me to become useful once more.

In A Nutshell

Although I have managed to kick my brain tumour into touch, I have been diagnosed with SMART syndrome, epilepsy and a number of neurological dysfunctions. My neurologist has written me off as permanently unemployable and my oncologist is unable to confirm that I am healed. She is convinced that my brain tumour will return and the expectation very much remains that I will die because of this tumour rather than in spite of it.

So…

While I can at first glance, and even on a particularly good day, appear completely normal, underneath what I hope comes across as a calm, friendly and together exterior, I am actually struggling and can be close to some form of neurological wobble or seizure, wondering whether to find a way to end the conversation, or how to get to a safe place, or whether to ask for help or to call for my wife Allie, who always knows what to do. In fact I am sometimes lost and can be quite frightened now without her because I never know what is going to happen next or whether I am making any sense at all, whether or not I am right or wrong, whether or not it is safe to cross. Without my assistance dog Cocoa, I would have little independence. Yet, I have life and with all things taken into consideration, surrounded by a growing number of people in the town who know me and watch out for me, a wonderful life in this beautiful place, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland, in which I live.

So…

I want the blessing of life to be a blessing that I can pass onto hundreds of thousands of people who need help at the most desperate time of their lives, when houses crumble, when towns and villages are seemingly wiped from the face of the earth, when society fails, at times of disaster. But to achieve my target of raising £9,000,000 to save 112,500 lives, every single month, I need your help. Through my efforts I hope to inspire you to either, become a life-saver through individual sponsorship.  or organise a simple and fun life-saving event designed to raise just £80 to provide the emergency shelter, bedding and clothing, rations, clean water, hygiene and medical packs needed to save a life. I personaly guarantee that every single penny raised will go to save lives through the good works of the Disasters Emergency Committee.

My eternal hope and prayer is that every life saved will be like a drop of light that sends  a ripple of peace, joy, love of thy neighbour and a desire to tun the clock back on climate change across the world. That by saving hundreds of thousands of lives , that drop of light becomes like an unstoppable Tsunami of light forcing peace, joy, love of thy neighbour and a desire to turn the clock back on climate change into the hardest to reach parts of the world.

Until we achieve peace and have turned the clock back on climate change I need to keep saving lives, and will continue to strive to do so for as long as I can keep my brain tumour at bay by following my balanced daily lifestyle, swinging a golf club, playing the organ and attending your life-saving events.

Please read on to learn more.

These boxes below, that I have named my challenge in numbers boxes, give you a true reflection of my efforts, since the launch on the 01st January 2024, needed to keep my brain tumour at bay, to get neurologically and cognitively strong again, and to raise the £80 needed to provide all the materials needed to save a life in a disaster, as many times over as I can. I hope that my efforts will inspire and encourage you to run a, simple and fun, life-saving event designed to raise the £80 needed to save a life as often as you can, ideally,  each and every month. When kept simple and fun, these events will not only help to save a life but should also be to the mutual benefit of the organiser and the attendees, and I will come to help at, and support your event, if I possibly can. Thank you, I very much look forward to hearing from you,  yours aye, Archie. archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk

Follow my progress

As I attempt to become useful again

I am inviting you to join me on my personal challenge to become useful again through the saving of lives. Battling every day with SMART syndrome, Epilepsy and my neurological dysfunctions, I strive to learn to play Golf and the Pipe Organ as well as I possibly can, and follow my balanced daily lifestyle of diet and exercise religiously, in the hope of keeping my brain tumour at bay, of becoming neurologically and cognitively strong enough to become employable again and in the hope of inspiring and encouraging you to organise and run a, simple and fun, life-saving event designed to raise  £80 to provide all the materialsneeded, at times of disaster, to save a life, as often as you can, ideally once a month to save a life a month. I personally guarantee that every single penny raised through my challenge will go to save lives  through the Disasters Emergency Committee. I intend to keep trying to save lives for as long as I cn keep my brain tumour at bay, keep swingin a golf club, keep making music and keep walking. I hope that you will not only start saving lives through life-saving events, as often as you can, but that you will keep saving lives for as long as I can keep going. In so doing, you are not only saving lives, but are also helping me to become useful once more. In order to keep my relationship with you live, I will keep the challenge in numbers boxes regularly updated, and write occasional blogs to keep you updated on all news of my progress. You can find these blogs on this website or by liking my beatthebeastchallenge Facebook page or by following the challenge on Twitter and Instagram.  All details on how to challenge me to keep fighting through your sponsorship can be found here.  I look forward to helping at and supporting your life-saving events, and receiving your life-saving monies.  I can be reached  via email on archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk In the meantime……

Keep Safe,
Keep being brilliant
and
Keeeeeeeeeeeeeep smiling
Yours aye with love and gratitude
Archie and Cocoa

Years spent Trying to Save Lives Since 01st January 2024

0.54

Number of Individual Sponsors

50

Hours Spent Practising Golf

22.65

Golf Strokes Played

781

Hours Spent practising Pipe Organ

41.01

Total Life-saving Money Raised for DEC

£2120

Number of life saving groups

2

Golf Holes Played

59

Musical Notes Played

237,261

Lives Potentially Saved

26.5

Number of Life-saving Events

4

Golf Handicap

43.4

Tunes Learnt and Performed

0

Number of Walks done to prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my brain, immune system, body and clear the brain fog.

440

Number of kms walked.

821.47

Number of Metres Ascended.

12,262.8

Number of hills or mountains climbed to prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my brain, immune system and body.

6

Number of balanced daily Lifestyle Lunches eaten to prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my mind and body

63

Number of medical appointments

7

Number of Cross-Training Circuits Done In The Gym To prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my brain, immune system and body.

0

Number of kms run, rowed, cycled & cross-trained in the gym.

0

Total number of kms covered under my own steam.

851.55

Total number of metres ascended under my own steam.

12,213.43

Number of Balanced Daily Lifestyle Suppers Eaten to prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my mind and body

15

Number of Runs done to prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my brain, immune system and body.

3

Number of kms run.

11.59

Number of Metres Ascended.

47.67

Number of kms travelled to attend life-saving events.

435

Number of Balanced Daily Lifestyle Breakfasts Eaten to prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my mind and body.

89

Number of Epileptic partial or focal seizures (known as auras) experienced.

19

Number of Swims done to prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my brain, immune system and body..

0


Number of kms Swum.

0

Number of nights spent away from home to attend life-saving events.

4

Thanks to Golf and Music, Minutes I can Concentrate Without Tripping my Brain

30

Number of strength Training Sessions done to prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my brain, immune system and body.

4

Number of KG moved 1 Metre.

48

Number of metres 2kg has been carried.

48

Number of People Met and Hands Shaken

33

Number of work sessions completed at my desk.

281

Hours of work completed at my desk to save as many lives as possible.

138.64

Number of SMART attacks experienced.

13

Number of Bicycle Rides done to prevent my brain tumour from returning and strengthen my brain, immune system and body.

0

Number of kms Cycled.

0

Smiles Captured

2

Number of neurological dysfunctional episodes experienced.

18

Frequently Asked Question

What is the Challenge?

Left brain damaged by my terminal brain tumour, I battle each and every day with SMART Syndrome, Epilepsy, a number of neurological dysfunctions, and poor cognitive function. Told to expect the return of my brain tumour, and written off as permanently unemployable, I am determined to beat my beast of a brain tumour, and despite my damaged brain, become useful again.  I unexpectedly have life and  by learning to play Golf and the pipe organ I am becoming, so very slowly, neurologically stronger. Having discovered that £80 will provide all the materials needed to save a life in a disaster, I am striving to play Golf at the highest level I possibly can, and striving to perform music with the best in the business, in the hope that I will  inspire you to challenge me to keep fighting by forming a life saving social group raising £80 a month to save a life a month.  I guarantee that every single penny raised will go to save lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee. So every life saved helps me to become useful once more.

Thank you, yours aye with love and tons of gratitude, Archie and Cocoa 🏌️‍♂️🎹🐶

Where do you go?

Based in North Berwick, I spend my days practising Golf on the Glen Golf Course just a ten minute walk from my house. I receive golf lessons from Scott Thomson at the Haddington Golf Club a short bus journey from home, and practise the pipe organ at home on a chapel organ, given to me by a wonderfully generous woman from the village of Carron near Aberlour. I frequently walk the 1.63 miles through beautiful parkland to practise on a full size pipe organ in St Baldred’s church and the 1.63 miles back home along the stunning beaches of North Berwick. If I manage to secure an invitation on to the professional golfing circuit I will go wherever the golf takes me. If any person or organisation who sets up a life-saving social group or life-saving event wishes me to come to talk with their team, or attend their event, then I will go to wherever they are. If a musician or musical ensemble or band wishes to help my fundraising aspirations through their music, and wishes to include me in some way, then I will of course go to wherever they need me. In a nut shell, I will go to work, wherever they are, with whoever wants to help me to save lives, help me to become useful once more.

How do I form and run a life saving social group or event?

The Beat the Beast Challenge is self funding through my own contribution while keeping costs to zero with voluntary support and corporate sponsorship in kind. Therefore the entirety of every penny donated will go directly to the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Please sponsor me by completing a standing order form either through your own personal internet banking or by completing the standing order form (found here) and posting it to your bank at the address found in your cheque book.

The Beat the Beast Challenge Account details needed for the standing order form are as follows:

Payee: Beat The Beast Challenge
Sort Code: 83-24-18
Account Number: 15978839
Payee Reference: Your name followed by Yes (If you are happy for me to list you on the website roll of honour (link to the roll of honour please) as a sponsor without revealing the amount that you sponsor. Should you not wish me to do so please write No after your name)

e.g. Archie Douglas, Yes(If happy to be listed as a sponsor on the website roll of honour (link to the roll of honour please) without your sponsorship amount being revealed)
or
e.g. Archie Douglas, No(If not happy to be listed as a sponsor on the website roll of honour (link to the roll of honour please)

It would be wonderful if your company, business or organisation whether large or small, could donate 1% of profits every month to the challenge. I would be delighted to add you to the corporate roll of honour (link to corporate roll of honour please) should you do so. Equally, should you sponsor me, I would be delighted to come and speak to your company, business or organisation, should you wish me to, as a thank you for your sponsorship. As for individual sponsors and how much to sponsor me, all I ask you to sponsor me for is just £1 per month but if you would like to sponsor me for more then do please do so. I would of course be delighted to receive more and give some ideas below:

Once the running and logistical costs of the fifteen life saving charities that the Disasters Emergency Committee coordinate and help fund in their live saving work have been found, I have calculated that to provide the additional and immediate life saving needs of Shelter, warm clothes and bedding, food, clean water, hygiene packs to help prevent disease, and disease protection medicines and equipment, to save the life of one person costs an additional £79.89 per person. To make the maths simple I have rounded this up to £80 per person and as a result I make the following suggested monthly donation amounts:

Monthly donation amount Months to save a life Years to save a life
£1 80 months to save a life 6 years 7 months to save a life
£2 40 months to save a life 3 years 3 months to save a life
£5 16 months to save a life 1 year 4 months to save a life
£10 8 months to save a life 1.5 lives saved per year
£20 4 months to save a life 3 lives saved per year
£30 2 months 18 days to save a life 4.6 lives saved each year
£40 2 months to save a life 6 lives saved each year
£50 1 month 18 days to save a life 7.5 lives saved a year
£60 1 month 9 days to save a life 9.2 lives saved a year
£70 1 month 3 days to save a life 10.9 lives saved a year
£80 1 month to save a life 12 lives saved each year

It is entirely up to you how much you decide to sponsor me for and all I ask is £1 per month. As I am asking you to complete a standing order to sponsor me I will not receive any of your details as these are given to the bank in confidence by your bank and not me. Therefore I cannot email, call or contact you in any way to ask you to increase your sponsorship. This is my one shot to ask for your sponsorship and all I ask in these difficult financial times is £1 per month. If you can afford to sponsor me for more thus save more lives faster, then please do so but please do not feel under pressure so to do.

However, I do need as many sponsors as I can muster, to save as many lives as I can, so need your help to save as many lives as possible. So instead of sponsoring me for more than you can afford, why not make the process of saving lives through your sponsorship an enriching experience for yourself and those of your family, friends and acquaintances.

I have an idea

Arrange to meet up with as many family and friends as you can muster for coffee. Provide the standing order forms (found here) and while you’re having coffee you can help each other fill them out together. After coffee go to your own banks and hand them in to the teller then meet back together for lunch to celebrate the process of starting to save a life. If you managed to convince:

9 friends to sponsor me with £1 a month you are raising £10 a month to save a life and could therefore meet every 8 months to celebrate having saved a life together. Convince 19 friends to sponsor me with £1 a month you are raising £20 a month to save a life and could therefore meet every 4 months to save a life.

And so the number of life saving options expands in accordance with your means and numbers of family and friends and acquaintances you have and your drive to save lives. The more people you can encourage to sponsor me the more frequently you can meet for a social to celebrate the life you have saved and in so doing, enrich your own life too.

Let not age, or gender, or sexual orientation, or ethnicity, or football team, or faith, or nationality be a barrier. Rich or poor, similar or different, new or old friends and acquaintances, reach past old disagreements and stretch out our hands across our community and the world, unite to sponsor Archie to save lives, millions of lives, around the world through the Disasters Emergency Committee. If you are unsure of starting such an enriching experience I implore you to watch my video of a Father’s advice (insert link to it please) in the hope that it will encourage you to reach out far and wide, to break new ground and enrich your life further in the process of saving lives.

Thank you, I look forward to receiving your sponsorship and in the meantime……
Keep safe,
Keep being brilliant
And
Keeeeeeeeeeeeep smiling
Yours aye with love and tons of gratitude
Archie and Cocoa

Can the challenge take Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Vouchers?

Yes the challenge is registered with CAF and I will be delighted to receive any CAF vouchers.

Please address them to Beat The Beast Challenge and send them to:

Archibald Douglas
Beat the Beast Challenge
c/o Webb and Wallace Accountants
10 Main Street
Doune
Perthshire
FK16 6BJ

Thank you, yours aye with love and tons of gratitude, Archie 😊

 

Does the Challenge Collect Gift Aid?

Sadly, as the challenge is not a charity, instead, an unincorporated charitable association for the sole purpose of saving lives by fundraising for the DEC, thus helping me to become useful again, the challenge cannot claim gift aid for any donations given. However, because the challenge is not a charity, so employs nobody, and is so lean that it has no costs. I can guarantee that every single penny you sponsor me with will go to save lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee. Not even a single penny is lost to costs.

However, I do intend, longer term, to try to convince the government to make a contribution to the challenge in lieu of gift aid. You will be made aware of that when that happens. Thank you for considering to fundraise to save a life to help me to become useful once more. I look forward to hearing from you and in the meantime ……

Keep safe,

Keep being brilliant and, 

Keeeeeeeeeeeeeep Smiling

Yours aye with love and gratitude, Archie 🙂

 

Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee
Who do you support?

I decided, long ago, to support the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) only. It is a wonderful charity that saves the lives of so many people all around the world at times of greatest need. At times of disaster. So I guarantee that every single penny raised goes to save lives through the DEC. Details on how to challenge me to keep fighting through Golf and Music to become useful again by forming a life-saving social group raising £80 a month to save a life a month can be found here.

In addition, by sharing my story with you I have been surprised to find that a number of people have found hope in their battle with their own beasts. Some of these have reached out to me directly and I have been delighted to meet with these people personally or over zoom if distance and cost was too great. I will always hold such a person in my prayers if they are happy for me to do so. Some have sadly gone on to lose their battle with their beast but far more, I am pleased to say, have beaten their beast and gone on to live fruitful, happy and healthy lives.

By sharing my whole life story, I also seek to provide encouragement to those young people who feel that they have little to offer in life. I strive to encourage them to find the skills that they do have and to use them for the benefit of others and in so doing, for the benefit of themselves.

Do get in touch via email if you have any questions archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk

Yours aye, Archie and Cocoa 🏌️‍♂️🎹🐶😊

How can I get involved?

I would love you to get involved. In fact the very success of this challenge in saving lives to become useful once more hinges entirely on the support of as many people as possible. So thank you very much for considering to come and join me on the journey to becoming useful again. I very much hope that you enjoy it and if you support what I am trying to achieve in the challenge do please help me raise awareness by:

  • 1. Liking the facebook page.
  • 2. Sharing the facebook page.
  • 3. Following me on Twitter @archiedouglas25.
  • 4. Following me on Instagram: Beat The Beast Challenge.
  • 5. Telling your friends and family about me and the challenge and making me a part of your daily life and conversation. It is quite a journey and sure to give you lots to think and talk about.
  • 6. Please sponsor me and encourage your friends and family to sponsor me too by forming a sponsor Archie social group (Sponsor Archie).
  • 7. Organise a fundraising event or activity. There have been a number of increasingly imaginative ideas already. A fundraising tea, a fundraising sport event, Christmas card making, plastic bag charge donations from shops et al.
  • 8. If you would like to, invite me to come and join your group of friends, or company, or business, or organisation for a round of Golf, or musical event or for a walk or other sort of event, or just to come to talk to your team. I would be delighted to give a talk if you wanted me to. It doesn’t have to be a huge event. This challenge is all about people coming together to save lives so I would love to come and join you for a round or a sing song or jam or walk or bike ride or presentation or work day one day. Just ask and if I can, I will, just as long as it is focused on helping me to become useful by raising funds for the challenge with which to save lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee.
  • 9. It would be wonderful if your company, business or organisation whether large or small, could donate 1% of profits every month to the challenge. I would be delighted to add you to the corporate roll of honour should you do so.

Finally I humbly pray, that my story on the challenge provides a source of Hope, Help, Inspiration or Encouragement for you or any of your friends or family who may need it in the future, as it has for a number of wonderfully courageous people already. Please keep in touch and follow the journey.

How to contact me

I can be contacted by various online means, you can send me a message on Facebook or an email from archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk.

While email is preferable, you can also write to me at:

Archibald Douglas
Beat the Beast Challenge
c/o Webb and Wallace Accountants
10 Main Street
Doune
Perthshire
FK16 6BJ

You can also leave me support and messages here on my blog posts, with Disqus. Simply sign in with Twitter/Facebook/Disqus and leave your message for me. I do try my best to respond to every message.

Messages of support and encouragement are always welcome, and if you have any good ideas or invitations for the Beat The Beast Challenge, let me know!

All suggestions welcome!

Why do you not have a Go Fund Me or Just Giving or Similar fundraising platform page?

While these platforms are excellent for short term individual fundraising events, they were not designed for an enduring need and, out of necessity, take a cut with which to pay their running costs.

Until we achieve world peace and turn back the clock on climate change, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) will continue to have an enduring and currently increasing need for large amounts of money with which to save lives. As a result, I ask my sponsors to do so with monthly standing orders or donations from the profits of businesses in order to provide an enduring flow of life saving money to the DEC.

By not using fundraising platforms and keeping the challenge extremely lean I can guarantee that every single penny raised goes to save lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee.

How did you work out the amount needed to save a life?

It is almost impossible to find an exact figure as to how much it actually costs to save a life partly because every single disaster presents different needs, different frictions and different costs. However, I eventually managed to find a figure that took into account logistical effort or transport, manpower and the inevitable mean running/maintenance and wage costs across the charities. That figure of £21,000 meant that, at that point, having raised £21,000 I had only managed to save one life. I then realised that I had not only saved a life but had also paid for all the logistical and manpower costs. The Fifteen member charities of the DEC are in nearly every disaster already in place with the necessities to allow life saving work to begin and if not there, they get there very quickly to start the process of life saving. Therefore the wider costs of enabling such an effort have been paid for. As a result, to give my potential sponsors a target that would appear eminently more achievable than £21,000 to save a life, I have considered it perfectly reasonable to break down the costs, as published on the DEC website for the DEC to provide the necessary lifesaving equipment with which to save a life. Equipment such as:

  • Shelter
  • Warm clothes and bedding,
  • Food,
  • Clean water,
  • Hygiene packs to help stop preventable and sometimes life threatening illnesses,
  • Prevention and protection equipment to help prevent insect born and inter person transmittable disease,
  • Medical equipment with which to save the lives of the severely malnourished, or dehydrated, or wounded or infected,
  • Simple medicines to save lives when disease or infection takes hold.

Therefore to save the life of one person, by my reckoning, costs an additional £79.89 per person. To make the maths simple I have rounded this up to £80 per person and it is this figure that I will use throughout the challenge as the bench mark to which I strive, each and every day, to achieve in order to save a life.