Through these last few tough months of neurological dysfunctions throwing new challenge after new challenge in my path, I have remained very focused on my brain training through Acting, Golf, Music and Writing as a way out of this neurological mess I find myself in, but I have never forgotten the lessons of my fight with the brain tumour and have, as a result, continued to follow my balanced daily lifestyle to keep me as fit and healthy in body as I can be in order to prevent the disease, but also prevent the predicted decline towards mental ill health and/or dementia. I find peace from my affliction on each and every walk and cycle, and have also found the walks to be a most excellent vehicle on which to learn the words to what is required by my acting classes and thereby reinforce my fight against developing dementia or just becoming ‘demented’ as my Neurologist so gently puts it. On top of all of this activity, I continue, very gently, to try to fundraise for the Disasters Emergency Committee.

The really good news comes in four parts:

  1. I have broken the back of 2,000 miles cycled on the bike having now completed 2,095.59 miles on the bike.
  2. I have also broken the back of 2,000 miles walked having now completed 2,151.17 miles on foot.
  3. That means that I have also broken the back of 5,000 miles having been completed under my own steam having completed 5,027.37 miles walking, running, cycling, kayaking and swimming as well as cycling, cross-training, running, and rowing in the gym while ascending 232,231.29 feet!
  4. I have also broken the back of £17,000 raised having raised £17,180 with my recent donation of £756.45 to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

The disappointing news is that the amount that I have been able to raise has slowed somewhat. This is partly due to the crossover to supporting just the DEC which led to me losing a small handful of sponsors. It is also partly due to me spending less time walking and recruiting sponsors, and more time trying to train the brain on the golf course, learning to play music on the keyboard, and learning to act and write. But it is perhaps also due to the very nature of the neurological dysfunction. On telling the truth about how the dysfunction afflicts me, it portrays me perhaps as wholly unreliable and an unsafe bet as a potential sponsee for an event, or perhaps my writing is just too honest and I appear, therefore, distasteful and turn people away. I take this opportunity to reassure you that my neurological seizures appear to be linked to negative events and while I spend nearly every waking moment, when not walking, with the constant fine tremor reverberating through my body, face and hands, hinting of further dysfunction to come, when I am given a positive focus, like reciting a monologue in a play, reading in the church, doing a talk or a speech, or taking part in a fundraising event, or playing a tune on the keyboard, or singing a song, I have so far risen to the challenge and delivered what was required with only mild hints of neurological dysfunction.

I ask you therefore not to be discouraged or be turned away by the hard-hitting nature of my affliction. I am a very real person telling a very real story about a very real affliction that must, I guess, afflict many. Most, when talking to me briefly on meeting, are completely unaware of, and are always surprised to hear of my condition. I do look and sound well. My voice normally only really starts to waiver after 20 minutes or so of intense conversation, but not always, especially if it remains on a positive focus. I am a safe bet for a fundraising event. I face, every single day, a very real challenge to reverse the professional medical diagnosis that I will never be able to regain my cognitive function to what it once was; that I will need to downgrade considerably my aspirations for meaningful employment; that perhaps I should aspire to volunteering in a charity shop for an hour a week. I work hard, each and every single day, to improve my cognitive function, bypass the neurological dysfunction as much as possible, and rebuild the life skills and skills required in employment that can be sustained day in day out, week after week for the rest of my life.

Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee gives me a sense of worth at the very time that I have little worth to the wider community, so please encourage me and help put a smile on my face by sponsoring me for just £1.00 per month then ask your family and friends to sponsor me too. There are 65 million active current accounts in the UK. If I can get just 1% to sponsor me for £1.00 per month then I can raise £650,000 per month for the DEC. Now that would give me a sense of worth!

I guarantee you that every single penny raised is accounted for and goes to the Disasters Emergency Committee to help those who need it most at a time when they need it most, at times of disaster.