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Beat The Beast Challenge

Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee

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Smiles Nos. 223-224 Hanna And Brenda in Morningside
Smiles Nos. 223-224 Hanna And Brenda in Morningside

Since my last post I have had my staples removed, walked 65.1 miles ascending 4,655 feet, while climbing two more hills, capturing another 7 wonderful smiles, while securing my 66th sponsor, while raising a further £337 with which to save and rebuild lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee.

After surgery to remove my granuloma I recovered quickly by following my balanced daily lifestyle with lots of great homemade balanced food, lots of short walks and lots of rest.

Allie had banned me from my bike at least until I had my staples removed so could wear my helmet comfortably and without risk of opening up the wound. It meant that Allie had to do the food shopping in the car which gave me further time to walk and rest.

The deal was that when I had my staples removed I could ask the nurse her opinion as to when I should even consider getting on my bike again. The nurse was brilliant at removing the staples and was pleased with the state of the wound. Of the 13 staples only 2 gave me any real pain so I was delighted.

So I asked, as promised to Allie, when the nurse thought I might be fit to ride my bike. She gave me the answer in two parts:

Firstly and very simply, “when you feel you can wear your helmet securely without any discomfort”. I was delighted with that answer but then came part two.

Secondly, “if I was your wife, with everything your brain has been through I would ban you from riding your bike ever again!” Clearly I was less delighted with that answer.

Smile No. 226 - Sarah From Morningside, Edinburgh
Smile No. 226 - Sarah From Morningside, Edinburgh

Back home I reported on the successful removal of my staples and on the nurses conclusions about riding my bike.

Staples Removed And Healing Nicely
Staples Removed And Healing Nicely

Allie was, of course, delighted with the nurse’s reply but we eventually got a compromise. I can ride my bike again when the packing’s removed and only if agreed by your surgeon. I was gutted but it was at least a step in the right direction. Better than never.

However, I had planned to do a brain-training hill walk. 10 miles navigating around the Blackford and Braid hills. Hills I had walked at least 5 times before, so this time I was planning to attempt to navigate an alternative route. To force my brain to concentrate and focus in on detail on the map and on the ground.

As I couldn’t cycle I could take two buses but we both agreed that it was too risky until my vaccination later this week. Allie came to the rescue and volunteered to drive me to the start first thing in the morning, but couldn’t walk with me as she had work to do. I volunteered to walk the 5.7 miles from the Hermitage of Braid back home after the planned 10.3 miles taking in both Blackford and Braid hills, and Allie made me agree that I would call her for a pick up if I was too tired or struggling neurologically. We were marvellously agreed.

Archie On Top Of Blackford Hill
Archie On Top Of Blackford Hill

All went to plan and 7 smiles and 16 miles walked later, Allie, who had been tracking me all along to make sure I was safe, came to meet me a mile out from home to get her own 2 mile walk in for the afternoon too. It was such a delightful surprise to see her cheerful face waving at me from the far end of the footpath, and to have her hold my hand for the final mile into home.

The American motivational speaker Les Brown once said “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” In my circumstance I would change the wording from never too old, to never too disabled. While I can walk and talk my inability to focus and concentrate on any task is a real handicap. While I do not look or sound disabled, I am significantly neurologically impaired, yet I do not stop dreaming.

Smile No. 225 - Ross From Morningside, Edinburgh
Smile No. 225 - Ross From Morningside, Edinburgh

I strive to save and rebuild the lives of as many people as I can through the Disasters Emergency Committee by raising as much money as I can for them. I have handed out many hundreds of cards to individuals after having told them my story and asked them to sponsor me. In addition, I have captured 228 smiles handing them a card with a plea for sponsorship too, yet only managed to secure 65 sponsors.

For a while, as I hovered around 0.01% achieved of my 640,000 sponsors target, with little change for another 20 or so cards, smiles and stories told this last week I started to see my hopes and dreams fading. I was doubting my own dream could ever become a reality. Such hard work for so little return.

However, on returning from my walk after a great day of brain-training I discovered some great news. Firstly that I had acquired my 66th sponsor. A very generous sponsor and that the generosity in time and treasure of my 66 sponsors has managed to help me raise well over £13,000 with which to save and rebuild lives through the DEC.

So a huge thank you to my 66th sponsor and to the other 65 who have been so very generous with your time and treasure. Every penny raised goes directly to the DEC so you truly are helping to save and rebuild the lives of the world’s poorest trapped in the triple whammy of COVID, warfare and climate change related natural disasters, while encouraging me to keep fighting. Thank you. Thank you all.

Smile No. 227 Ellen From Morningside, Edinburgh
Smile No. 227 Ellen From Morningside, Edinburgh
Smile No. 222 - Gillian From Colinton
Smile No. 222 - Gillian From Colinton

Please help me to spread a little light into the lives of those that struggle by sending me a photo of your smile that I can publish, with the other 228 smiles so far collected, on the smileometer on my website, and via the Challenge social media channels of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Emailing it to me would be best on archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk or message it to me on Messenger or Instagram.

Furthermore I continue to look for sponsorship. There are 64 million active current accounts in the UK. If I can attract just 1% of these account holders to sponsor me with just £1 per month I can raise £640,000 per month to help save and rebuild the lives of the world’s poorest through the Disasters Emergency Committee. At the moment, with just 66 sponsors, I remain at just 0.01% of my target. So if you do not yet sponsor me, please give me 10 minutes of your time to fill out a standing order to challenge me to keep fighting. https://beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk/index.php/sponsor-archie Every penny raised goes to save and rebuild lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee bringing light to those whose entire lives have been destroyed by the triple whammy of COVID-19, warfare and climate change related natural disaster. Every penny raised encourages me to keep fighting to prevent my brain tumour from returning as predicted, and to retrain and strengthen my brain, using the mediums of Golf, Music, Navigating over the Hills, Drama, Dance, Juggling, Litter Picking and Writing, with becoming neurologically and cognitively strong enough to one day be able to sustain myself in some form of future employment being my goal.

The Thirteen Staples Removed
The Thirteen Staples Removed

Thank you, Keep safe, keep being brilliant. Keep smiling

Yours aye with love and gratitude,

Archie xx

Archie On Top Of Braid Hill
Archie On Top Of Braid Hill
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