The '7 C's Challenge'
(Or '6 cycles and 1 Swim'!)
7 Challenges - 1 Goal - Save a life - Raise £50,000
My name is Peter Reynolds and until April 2016, I was leading a normal life. Working hard, keeping fit, eating sensibly, never smoking or drinking. Then I fell ill and my ordeal began. I was told I needed a liver transplant to save my life. It all happened incredibly quickly. How was I to know that 1 in 10 people in the UK suffered from liver disease, and that it remains the fifth biggest killer of men and women here? Shocker? Yes. Choker? Yes. But that's life as they say. Or, should I say, that was my life - saved!
You see, my wife Sylvia and my two boys, Jay and Phil, were outstanding in their support for me. When I was first taken ill, we agreed together that if our situation was going to end well, we all needed to stay positive and work together as a family. We even began to call ourselves 'Team Reynolds' as a way of harnessing our efforts in pursuit of our common goal. We were all sporty and we appreciated the extraordinary benefits of teamwork. When you all pull together as one group and go the extra mile together, it's amazing what you can achieve! So, especially during the dark times. I never felt alone. I always had the comfort of knowing Team Reynolds was with me. Maybe not physically at that moment in time, but they were in my heart, my soul and in my thoughts.
To my amazement, all our talk of togetherness began to rub off on those around us. The positivity we generated and the team spirit we enjoyed seemed to become infectious. Team Reynolds began to rapidly expand as more and more people invested in our approach. From being myself, my wife and sons alone, the team began to assimilate staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where I was being kept alive. From the health care assistant's, the nurses (ward and specialist), porters, cleaners, psychologists, doctors, right through to the head surgeon of my transplant team. It made an enormous difference to my mental, physical and emotional state, as well as acting as a wonderful catalyst for my recovery. Team Reynolds was here to stay - and growing bigger with each day!
Within three months of being diagnosed with my illness, I had received a liver transplant and was on the road to recovery. Within one week of the transplant, I was released from hospital. Within one month of release, I was back on my turbo-trainer indoors and within another month, I was back cycling on the road. Don't try to tell me we don't have the best NHS in the world!
With 3000km of training on the road already under my belt, I'm feeling positive about the future!
Now, all I want to do, is give someone else the same life-saving chance I was given. Not because I have to, but because I want to. For me, it's only right to give something extra back. Don't you agree?
Well, having learned during my recovery that it costs the NHS £50,000 to pay for each liver transplant, I set out to raise that amount. I want to repay the QEHB, the Liver Foundation UK, the staff at QEHB. I want to honour the memory of my donor. I want to show respect for the courage shown by the donor’s family in agreeing the donation.
With your help and with you alongside me as a member of Team Reynolds, that's exactly what we can do!
So, starting in September 2017, I start:
The '7C's Challenge'
7 Challenges - 1 Goal - Save a life - Raise £50,000
1. September 2017 - Birmingham Velo cycle 100 miles
2. October 2017 - Coast to Coast cycle 147 miles
3. March 2018 - Pride of Wales cycle 86 miles
4. May 2018 - Giants Causeway cycle 115 miles
5. June 2018 - Great North Swim, Lake Windermere, 2 miles
6. July 2018 - Coast and Castle Cycle 170 miles
7. August 2018 - London to Paris Cycle 247 miles
(Dates subject to change depending upon weather conditions)
Among many things I learned last year, I became very much aware that you NEVER know when something like this could happen to you. Who knows who'll be next person to need that life-saving opportunity? Who's husband, wife, son, daughter, sibling, grandchild? There is one thing I know for certain. If it's you who needs it, the NHS will be there to serve you. It is, in my experience, bursting at the seams with QP's; quality people. People who are passionate about helping you and me, yours and mine. Quality people who seldom ask for, expect or receive, the thanks and gratitude they deserve. They do it because they care.
I have new heroes now ...
If you want to read more on my journey, please go on to my Facebook page. I will keep you posted on how my training is going and how I cope with each of the 7 challenges. There will be good times and tough times, but it would great to have you sharing my path. If you want to donate any amount, that will be hugely appreciated. However, if you just aren't in a position to do that, but want to send me any positivity, that will also be very much welcomed. Please feel free to leave me a message on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. With your help, we can do this! Together, we can save a life!
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