My name is Pat Smith. I have had NF2 for as long as I can remember and this has caused me to face more barriers in life than I can count. Due to my condition, I have benign tumours spread across my body: in my ears, top of my spine and a large mass in my lower spine. As a result, ever since I was diagnosed my physical capabilities have slowly decreased. I stopped being able to do all the activities I loved.
My condition affects my mobility and flexibility as it causes my leg muscles to not form or function properly due to the growing tumour on my lower spine, which grows on and damages the nerves. This has resulted in me having troubles and difficulties in life. I believe most people will never be able to understand the extent to which these challenges can impact people with disabilities. This is why I wanted to create this fundraiser event, to raise awareness for NF but also to help young people who are struggling with the mental aspect of living with this condition.
School life was incredibly difficult for me as I could see everyone in my class being able to enjoy doing the things I could no longer do and it made me feel left behind, alone and isolated. It impacted my mental health and I began feeling lonely and depressed because I was never able to join in with everyone else having fun.
That is why I am raising money by aiming to walk 14 miles in 7 days. Yes, I struggle with my mobility but I want to show people going through school feeling the same way I did, it may be harder for you but it is possible to still get out and be active. Being active not only helps the body physically, but it really increases a persons mental health and can make you feel happier and more productive in life.
I will also be walking each day with a new person(s) to show people that, you may feel alone in your head, but people are more accepting of someone’s physical limitations that you may think. I felt alone in my struggle but what only realised recently is there were people there supporting me through that struggle. I was never truly alone, it was just hard to see it.
I am doing this fundraiser event to increase awareness of NF with the hope that it will benefit young people everywhere experiencing the challenges no one should have to face in their school life.
I will be starting my walk on the last week of January and each day will be completed in a different location. All the areas in which I will be walking will be spread across the Warwickshire, as this is the place I grew up in and currently live in. If you would like to join me on any of these days I will list the locations and dates below:
25th Jan - Southam
26th Jan - Jephson’s Gardens
27th Jan - Newbold Comyn
28th Jan - Leamington Parade
29th Jan - Foundry Wood
30th Jan - Newbold Comyn
31st Jan - Victoria Park
The places in which my walk will be carried out may change depending on the government regulations and restrictions. This will also effect the number of people I can walk with.
With Gift Aid
Liz (NOT Lisa)
Tony & Lindsey Chalk
Well done! Your grandmother Marianne was an inspirational person and you are clearly following in her footsteps.
Nora Cronin O’Mahony
Wishing you every success!
Well done Pat !
No message provided
Tom and Jenny Lee
In memory of Pat’s grandma Marianne Smith. Love from Tom, Jenny and family x