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Pat’s Triathlon Challenge

02 February 2022

Last year I completed my first fundraiser challenge, walking 2 miles every day for 7 days.

I was told by quite a few people that this was going to be a struggle and I can tell you now; I really struggled. But it was incredible to see so much support, even during the pandemic there were so many donations - I was blown away by the response. I appeared on BBC Midlands Today News and even some radio stations.

Patrick was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2, (NF2) many years ago, with a number of benign tumours growing across his body and leading to reduced mobility.

These are very rare conditions and so it is less understood by the large majority of people across the UK. Therefore, it receives a lot less funding in terms of medical research as well as support for the people who suffer with these conditions. I believe it to be incredibly important to raise awareness for charities and organisations which fund the research and support of rarer conditions which is why I am once again going to be undertaking another fundraiser.

This fundraiser will be to complete a triathlon styled challenge, where I will attempt a 500m swim, 5km walk and 7.5km in my wheelchair.

Each part of the challenge will be completed on consecutive days and at different locations.

500m swim - 20th May - Queen's Jubilee Leisure Centre, Rugby, Warwickshire

5km walk - 21st May - Ryton Pools, Ryton, Warwickshire

7.5km wheelchair - 22nd May - Draycote Water, Kites Hardwick, Warwickshire

This challenge, although taking place over 3 days instead of 7, will be far more challenging for me because for one, I haven’t been swimming in 6 years, and two, the distances I am attempting this time will be far more difficult to complete. However, I am determined to undertake this challenge and these difficult distances because I want to push myself more than I have done before.

Not only that but I have always wanted to push the message that no matter your level of skill or ability you can always do more than you think, more than others think you can. This was something I used to struggle seeing (and some days I still do) but after completing my last fundraiser challenge it made me realise your capabilities expand further than what you or others can see. Before completing the challenge last year, I thought my physical capabilities were that I could just about walk around my local park once or twice but now I know my capabilities are greater than just what I have done before.

This challenge will test my capabilities and I really hope that it will motivate others to test theirs too. Alongside this, I also want to raise awareness for Nerve Tumours UK and fundraise for the medical research, support and overall understanding of these conditions which hopefully one day leads to a cure of this life ruining condition.

If you wish to learn more about Neurofibromatosis, please contact me (via info@nervetumours.org.uk) and ask anything you want to know – some people find it difficult to ask people with disabilities questions about how their condition affects them but that is the only way we will be able to become more inclusive and supportive. So NEVER be afraid to ask questions about how disabilities impact someone’s life.

"I am really excited (and also quite nervous) to start this fundraiser challenge but I am determined to complete it and show myself and others that you are not defined by limitations you may have but by breaking barriers and doing the things you want."

– Pat

Patrick's NF Fundraiser last year was featured on BBC Midlands Today. He explains in his own words why it is important to raise awareness for Neurofibromatosis.

Watch the video & BBC Midlands news article below