Becoming increasingly frustrated by the complexity of fundraising for five charities simultaneously, and at the same time by the lack of support from four out of the five charities, after raising £21,260.95 which equates to £4,252.19 for each of the five charities, I decided to focus my efforts on one charity. After much research I decided to fundraise for the Disasters Emergency Committee as they save and rebuild lives each and every day of the year and because, in their lifesaving missions, they have Protestant, Catholic and Muslim charities working hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder in the business of saving and rebuilding lives. After a life of service caught in the crossfire between these faiths, I found great hope for the future in the work that they do.

Disasters Emergency Commmittee -- this is where all monies raised will go towards!
Disasters Emergency Commmittee — this is where all monies raised will go towards!

Despite me continuing to have poor health, no wealth and no earning potential, Allie became my wife, and my children adore her for the way she looks after me while also being there for them in so many wonderful ways.

Allie Actually Married Me
Allie Actually Married Me

In my battle to stop the brain tumour coming back as predicted, and to retrain and strengthen my brain to become useful again, my faith deepened, I followed my balanced daily lifestyle religiously. I discovered that walking was a wonderful way to stabilise my brain when the fog started to drift in. I dabbled with golf, music, juggling, litter-picking and writing as ways to retrain and strengthen my brain and, after a couple of years, found that while I continue to walk to bring stability to my brain, golf and learning to play the pipe organ were giving me the most bang for the buck when it came to brain retraining and strengthening.

In my last scan and oncology clinic I discovered that my brain has finally stopped shrinking. This is great news and has given me further hope that I will be able to stop chasing the moving and changing nature of my neurological dysfunctions and epilepsy. Instead, through golf and music I have a much greater chance of retraining and strengthening my brain to become useful again.

A Shrinking Brain

Having, as I write, so far raised £41,983.55 in total, of which £21,976.20 has now been raised for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), with which to save lives. I know that, with help, I could raise so much more.

  • RBSRBS do all their banking for the Challenge for free.
  • My board assist me in the Challenge through annually meetings entirely for free. Webb and Wallace Accountants in Doune account for every penny raised for free.
  • MHCreations, GlasgowMHCreations in Glasgow maintains my challenge website entirely for free.
  • Key Facilities ManagementKey Facilities management in Doune hosts my website on their server for free.
  • I do all my fundraising works for free and pay for all my fundraising business cards and tabards through my War Disablement Pension. Therefore, I can guarantee that every single penny raised goes directly to save lives through the DEC.
  • Help For HeroesHelp for Heroes have funded a golfing membership at the Glen Golf Club, just a fifteen minute walk from my front door. I can use the course and practice area each and every day.
  • Haddington Golf ClubI receive a lesson a month for free from Scott Thomson at the Haddington Golf Club.
  • Battle Back GolfBattle Back Golf have provided all my golfing equipment and between Battle Back Golf and the On Course Foundation I receive most excellent encouragement, coaching and competition.
  • St Baldred’s Church have lent me a key for the church so that I can go and practice on the organ as often as I want, with the excellent organist giving me tips and pointers as and when I need them.
  • Brave Hound LogoBravehound have helped me to train my springer spaniel (Cocoa), given to us as a house warming present when we moved to North Berwick.
My Bravehound, Cocoa
My Bravehound, Cocoa

Cocoa is now qualified as my assistance dog and is being trained to stay with me and call for help whenever I suffer from an epileptic or SMART attack which can leave me deaf, blind and dumb with the loss of motor function down my left side. Ninety-eight percent of the time I just need Allie to look after me. However, twice, if I hadn’t made it to hospital in time I would no longer be here. Cocoa’s harness carries Allie’s mobile number to call in the event of an emergency prior to an ambulance. Depending on the answers to Allie’s two questions, she will either say, call an ambulance, or more likely, “I am coming to take him home,” so avoiding wasting NHS resources.

I am already doing all I can to retrain and strengthen my brain and I am seeing the small fruits of my labour starting to emerge but want so desperately for all my efforts to be for the benefit of as many people as possible. Please read on to learn more.