Thursday, 8 May 2014

Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Just a reminder

I know I have already made an earlier blog about this, however this is just an update as to what I'm up to and hoping to achieve. As time goes on I hope to be able to write about each of the challenges I take part in and make it an interesting read for you all.

I have been wanting to learn to run for sometime now, well put it this way since my amputation which was on September 11th 2007. I have tried and tried to get my local limb centre (disability service centre or DSC) interested in helping me, however have failed. Too much red tape, not enough funding and it is seen as not being essential to my job or daily living. So all avenues exhausted there.

In a way I kind of gave up on the idea of ever running again as I just couldn't afford a running prosthesis, which comes in at over £10,000. My way of thinking I was extremely lucky to have been sponsored and supported by both Brian Bartlett and his company Leftside Inc and of course Pace Rehabilitation, who took me under their wing from early on in my cycling adventures. Without these people being there to support me,well I don't even want to imagine where or what I would be doing now.

And so the rest of this story goes like this. When I was on holiday last year I was in Dallas visiting my friend Shannon. Shannon is also an above knee amputee and she had a very unique socket design. I was intrigued so she offered to take me to the clinic where she receives her gear.  It is a clinic called Baker Orthotics and Prosthetics There I met with a lovely prosthetist named Scott Clark. Scott was very interested in what I was doing  on my Bartlett Tendon and we chatted about all different activities involving prosthetics and this included running. It was from here and the advice I received from Scott, that I decided when I got home I would contact the  Challenged Athletes Foundation

So around October last year I wrote out my on-line application and just waited. I didn't have to wait long before I got a mail back saying unfortunately CAF wasn't able to support overseas applicants. Ah well I tried I thought. And that was pretty much the end of that dream, or so I figured.

Imagine my surprise when Toby my prosthetist at Pace Rehabilitation contacted me via email around the beginning of April, saying "Not sure if CAF has been in touch with you, but they have sent me an e-mail saying they will fund the running blade for you". My first reaction was, "hold on I better read that again", followed by a "WoW!"... Now the funding is only for the running blade part of the prosthesis so I now find myself in the position of having a blade and requiring the rest of the components. But hey it's a start and a huge one at that. Now the hard work starts on my side. I have to try and raise just over £8000, this year. 

To do this I have chosen to join forces with Arctic One. On the agreement from both Matt and Bex that this fund-raising shouldn't be focused on me. My goal is to get Arctic One involved in the North East and try and offer people in this region the opportunity to take part in sport. To receive assistance in achieving their own goals and find local resources. 

Matt and Bex the founders of Arctic One have been watching my progress over a long period. I think they see me as a pretty determined positive character and potentially a good role model or advert for what they are trying to promote. Well I think that's what they see, you would really have to ask them. What I see when I look in the mirror is an ordinary bloke, who just happens to have lost a leg and is trying to get on with life, doing the things he enjoys. Oh and whilst doing that also trying to help other people along the way. For me the key thing in whatever I have achieved, whether that be big or small, is support.

And so as I prepare to step into uncharted territory, it's good to know I have a whole range of support from family and friends both old and of late new, what with John, Lee and Michelle. And then there are all these other places and people like the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Pace, Arctic One and of course my good friend Brian Bartlett.

My friends and I are trying to come up with some really interesting fund raising ideas for later in the year. My first challenge on behalf of Arctic One starts on the 10th June and that is taking part in a duathlon at Hawridge. I then travel back down South to take part in a triathlon at Dorney Lake on the 23rd August.

All I can say is wish me luck and any support is greatly appreciated. Yo can donate either directly to Arctic One here

Virgin Money Giving - Arctic One

or to my own fund raisng page here

Glenns Fund Raising Page

Thank you

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