AMREF Health Africa
View An Intro To AMREF Health
In recent years, Amref Health Africa has highlighted the fact that despite huge investments by donors in health products and delivery of health services, a large percentage of Africans still have limited access to sufficient and quality health care. The work they do focuses specifically on how to link health services to the people and removing those barrier rather than simply focusing on the on any one disease. This unique approach allows them to tailor-make their programs to the specific needs of the community but does result in them having to work to change long held community social beliefs but also address draconian and outdated laws that currently criminalize & ostracize whole sections of their community barring them from the health care they desperately need. I am keen to support any organisation that is willing to tackle the more difficult root causes of the issues while at the same time balancing being respectful of another culture and getting them the health expertise needed.
Thirteen weeks to attempt a
Trying To Raise £4k for
24th April 2016
So far in my training I've been stunned with all thought, preparation and organisation required to try and hit a desired time in a endurance event. For those interested in following my journey I'll be blogging and tweeting about how I juggle all those needs with my professional and personal life. For those willing it would be great if you could share my site on your social networks as any and all support would be greatly appreciated!
Raising the money - its important that I repay the support from Amref so donating on the link below will take us towards the £2K target I'd like to raise for them. Thereafter I'll switch the link to Eilidh's Trust - please take the time to provide generously as these two causes will make huge differences to many people. Thank you, thank you, thank you...
Follow My Journey....Share The Pain
Despite Eilidh's ultra-rare genetic condition and she sparkles. She has a big personality and her chair, Snappie, helps her walk, run, dance and spin through life. Her chair enables her to be a mobile 7 year old, playing with friends, picking up toys from the floor and reaching high for her games and yet it is so much more; Snappie is an extension of her body, she feels the way it moves, she knows when something is wrong with it. You see Eilidh before you see her chair but both shine radiant and bright in our family lives.
With the help of her chair, Eilidh can play games and get involved like any other child. But as she continues to grow and her mobility becomes increasingly restricted she's outgrown the chair and we're working as a family to raise the £24K necessary to buy her next chair and keep her mobile.
More About Eilidh
Well this is me. Nick Thomson – I'm similar to many. Husband to an amazing women - Lisa, Dad to two great kids; Annabelle & Ben & full time desk jockey working too many hours in a software firm trying to earn a crust & change the world. Trying to fit in a marathon and all its required training seems impossible - trying to run it in under 3 hours with no previous experience. Well that's plain dumb.
I've been compelled to run the marathon as I look to raise money urgently to help my god daughter Eilidh stay mobile as she's outgrown her motorised chair and we are working as a family to help raise the necessary £24K to purchase the chair she needs. Not long after her birth Eilidh was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA view more details here) - a degenerative genetic disorder that means she is unable to move the weight of her own body. She is entirely reliant on motorised hoists, chairs and ramps to go about every day life. I've witnessed first hand the impact on her parents (David & Sheonad) and sister (Niamh) - as our National Health Service simply can't provide the support necessary to give Eilidh & others like her something approaching the quality of life we all want for our kids. While we might all worry about the how quickly our little ones grow out of their £30 shoes, Sheonad & David have to worry about how to find £24K to buy the next motorised chair as she grows out of it. This is my attempt to help them raise the money towards the chair as after 5 Eilidh has outgrown her faithful "Snappy" chair and now its essential she finds her way to a newer bigger chair.
I decided to run the London marathon as my way of raising funds but as many of you may know its hard to get into. Luckily I was able to approach the team at AMREF Health who were willing to give me one of their charity places to help raise the necessary money. AMREF originated from the Flying Doctors and are themselves doing huge things for African health causes including helping isolated and minority African communities whose health is being adversely impacted not just by disease but by social exclusion and out-dated beliefs & policies. Their fearlessness and desire to stand up for the oppressed in their cause coupled with their generosity letting me run for Eilidh has mean't I'd like to raise money for them also!
So there you have it - I'm raising money for two fabulous causes and my goal is to raise a mammoth £4K - with the first £2K going to AMREF and thereafter £2K to Eilidh. Fittingly then I've set a stupidly difficult goal of achieving a 3hr marathon time with just 13 weeks of training. Why is that such a hard target you might ask? According to most 3 hours is a fairly meaningless time to aim for – for an amateur it requires you to put in Mo Farah levels of training and yet results only in a time which would register as Local Class on the totem pole of professional running. Still only 2% of people who ever run a marathon will break 3 hours. If i can break into that unique population - to help an even more select group of people who need way more support than they get - then that's my goal.
Now add in that I've got exactly zero running experience beyond school, no history of anything remotely endurance related but I do have a very checkered injury history that includes 3 x dislocated shoulders along with 4 boughts of knee cartilage surgery and a very badly twisted ankle in December - the probability of my completing the marathon, let alone breaking 3 hours, is low at best.
I hope you will be able to find the time to support me on the journey and this site is just the starting point. I'd love to hear from anyone whose done it before with hints ot tips or just simple words of encouragement. I'll post on my blog as I go to keep those of you interested up to date.
Please also note that I built this website myself cursing and swearing as I went as I have close to no technical skills so please excuse any errors, misalignments etc
Thank your reading and hopefully see on you on the course somewhere.