12 October – The Reveal Ball
Starting at and Ending at Mytton Fold
The Days Journey
Had the final amount sent to me, I am completely lost for words, just unthinkable 12 months ago
Below is my speech from The Ball - an amazing event in celebration of all we have achieved, but still aware of how much remains to be done.
After announcing I was going to walk Land’s End to John O’Groats’s surprisingly Training sort of took a back seat.
It was coming up to Christmas, it’s only a walk I thought, I walk every day, ok, it’s a little further…. but anybody can walk, …. Deep down I knew this was bullshit…..but early this year I had a wakeup call…
I sat in my car one Sunday morning after boot camp and did one of my first videos based on an article I had read.
The first time I read this article it made me cry, I feel I had held back on so much for so long, after Thomas, our Grandson, was born, I can honestly say, it took ten times of me reading this article before I put it on camera. I cried on the 11th as well on the video but it was hard to see, if you will listen one more time it shows how brutal CF can be.
Courageous Nantwich schoolgirl Elle Morris, who underwent a double lung transplant while fighting cystic fibrosis, has died.
The tragic news emerged just days after her heartbroken mum Becky revealed that specialists could not find a way to cure an infection she was suffering.
Brave Elle sparked nationwide coverage when she and mum Becky launched the “Elle’s Wishes” campaign.
It raised huge awareness of the cystic fibrosis condition which she suffered.
Her death was announced on the Elle’s Wishes Facebook page on (January 3). And reads as follows:
“It is with heavy hearts we need to let you know our incredibly brave and beautiful Elle passed away in the early hours of Wednesday 3rd January,” it said.
“She died peacefully in the arms of her Mummy and Daddy with her family and friends close by.
“Our immense pride in her strength and dignity is helping us through these painful days.
“We can’t thank enough the medical teams who have looked after her with such love and care all the way through until the end which in true Elle style, was when she was ready.
“Fly high our beautiful brave warrior we will always keep you with us, your inspiration and love for life is a memory we will cherish forever.
Elle had been due to start at Brine Leas High School in September, but complications after her transplant in February 2017 meant she was unable to attend.
Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital did everything they could to try and save her but announced a few days ago that they had run out of options.
Elle ……..was 11.
It made me think about Thomas who run’s around chasing me with a sword or help’s me chop logs, I have met Amelia a few times and she is a beautiful young woman who is so full of life, but after reading the article about Elle, I understood that CF has an evil dark side that feels nothing for anybody. I found Elle’s passing difficult to understand, but it reiterated that not all CF news is flowers and Chocolates.
The article awoke me to the fact that this is a fight, a real fight, CF is evil, it is invisible, you can’t take it round the back and kick the shit out it.
It needed to be fought by people who are brighter than me, who fight things in a different way with test tubes and medicines, but I could help, I could let people know about CF so they understood how CF affects people and families, I could teach.
When we set off from Land’s End, I was on a mission, I became selfish, determined and downright stubborn, nothing absolutely nothing was going to get in the way, my every waking moment was focused on the task ahead.
Elle’s story had given me that focus I needed for the journey ahead.
But, I COULD NOT DO THIS ALONE
I Joined a team
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results….. Oh, My Lord!! What a load of corporate crap…
"None of us is as smart as all of us."
Without the team, we would be no where near the massive achievements we are going to revel tonight.
In June, Danielle Ellison staff and pupils from Holy Souls Primary ensured I was privileged to be involved with taking 100 school children up Pendle… at one point I looked down and all I could see was yellow, I was astonished by the enthusiasm of the teachers and kids, not only the kids learned a lot that day, I learned how great young kids are.
They raised £2600……… That day, will live with, me forever.
Bill Reed organised a band night at the club and made sure it was the day I left for Cornwall cheers for that Bill ”!”! loads attended
The day after Bills Do, Thomas’s Mum, Louise and her Dad, Nannette, Lou’s family & Friends all went on a sponsored walk to raise funds, this was before we started walking from Land’s End.
Sue Simpson a colleague at work started booking camp sites, and maintained and altered as we went along,
Sean Haynes my partner in crime at Work soaked up, me not being there for so many days.
Malcolm drove us with big impact on him, Sam stepped in and did the same, on paper its just moving vans, cars and motorhomes, but its not its more than that, it’s the impact on your life,
To all that turned up and supported Leg 31 so many people. The event was fantastic. I can now confirm this will run again next year, its going to be an annual fund raiser.
But we will run it from near home.
To Fantasy Tattoo in Colne who ran the Tattooathon, and Raffle that alone raised £2,887
To Kim Redmayne who organised a raffle and a competition to guess the number of sweets in a jar. That raised over £1100
To the countless others from the running club that selfless acted for the good of LEJOG either by deed or action.
To my sister who looked after the dog, cat and house, RENT FREE! Fran and Jonathan from the red pump, for all their efforts and sponsorship. To all the leg sponsors-- (these are all listed on the Menu cards on your tables)-- and all who donated from a penny to hundreds and even £1000’s of pounds
To all the people who sent messages of support when it was not going as well as it should do.
Denise Park and Tony Hughes who repaired or patched up this knackered body along the way.
To all these people and many many more I really can’t mention them all as we will be here all night, I am forever in your debt….As importantly so is every CFER.
I cannot say thank you enough to all the people who have been involved,.. But I know for certain….
I am proud to be part of this team.
But I have 3 special thank you’s not because I want to single them out, but because they put more work in than I expected them to.
Ok the first.
At first this lady’s teacher side had me on the back foot I watched my P’s and Q’s but I have learnt that a more dedicated fundraiser for CF I have yet to meet. She is a truly wonderful woman. Gail Baily, will you join me here.
Right the next one, what do I say…. he calls me stubborn, I call him relentless, but I also look upon him with vast respect, he takes something shakes the sh%$ out of it then moves on, to the next victim, a true legend but I feel for his wife and this is as much for her as him, but, I am also about to change his life, Garry Wilkinson please join me.
Now I have missed one off and it’s a special one, without this Lady I would dread to think how the walk would have been, …..that video at the base of Ben Nevis was so moving, so honest so well ----- Lamb, I am truly truly blessed, but I also have an apology, Lamb I am sorry, While on the walk I missed your birthday.
You all may be thinking well it’s OK you were walking the country….. no no no…I don’t it’s not OK…. I am frightened very frightened, and I will let you know why,
Now then the whiter than white, butter would not melt is true….. well almost true.. but let me give you another insight .. …I promised I would not mention the incident she had while sat outside a lovely Villa in Menorca while wearing white shorts….that would never be white again, think about it, yes lamb had an incident, the look on the couples face that were unbeknown to us, sat in the dark enjoying the night stars, sipping wine, some 6 feet away, no I would not mention any of that………
The English playwright William Congreve in 1697 wrote those famous words: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
Many many years ago, 21 to be accurate, I had got into some trouble at home nothing daft, I think I had agreed to some credit and bought a new Ducati without asking lamb.
At the time I thought nothing of it, just full of testosterone, I am never wrong type bloke we will get the money from somewhere…..
Oh how I have learned.
Let me pass my learning on to any man here tonight, women always win.
A few months after our daughter Emily was born we chatted about, what next.. we don’t want any more children, so do we keep with traditional methods of contraception, like “get off fatty”……… or “I have a headache”………. or “you need a shower”………. or “was that you”?
It makes you think about us and them, you know Men and women, it Seems to me the basic conflict between men and women, sexually, is that men are like firemen. To men, sex is an emergency, and no matter what we're doing we can be ready in two minutes. And usually done, Women, on the other hand, are like fire. They're very exciting, but the conditions have to be exactly right for it to occur."
Like most couples we chatted in depth, obviously I had no say in the matter, but as I was the male full of testosterone, who thought he knew everything.
I just said give me a piece of wood let me bite onto it and sort me out.
Let the little fellow keep the gun but let him fire blanks no problem……… job done.
But, and it’s a big but!
A few days before the procedure I started to worry, questions why? What? How? what if……
I turned to Lamb,
Don’t worry Ram all will be well, remember I have been a staff nurse for 15 years, why don’t you ask me your questions and let me try and explain how they go about it…..
Brilliant I thought, so the questions flowed will it hurt? is it best to have a local anesthetic? Or General? How do I prepare? Will it be a male surgeon? When oh when will I be able to go out on the Ducati again
I got all the answers and advice I needed
I was ready.
The day of the operation
Got to hospital
Filled in all the forms, got shown to a room and given that gown….. the Gown of no dignity, not a problem I am not here for long, but I’m changed and ready for it.
After 5 mins a knock at the door, come in,
“Hi I’m John the staff nurse is everything ok ?
“Yep all good John”
“if it’s all right please may I give you a shave you know down there down there?”
No need John, I am done! I’m Already for you, my wife is a staff nurse and has advised me.
“Ok” he said, with a puzzled look,
“if you don’t mind can I just check,
Not a problem John.
I lifted the gown.
He burst out laughing.
What the Feck John, no need pal…. is this how you treat every patient, I know I am not well…… to well… you know but you laughing at me will only make me feel worse.
He looked troubled.
Then he said “I am not laughing at your size, but I must ask? why have you shaved from your nipples to your knees!”
My mind sprang back to the advice given by Lamb….Lesson learnt.
Again, I forgot lambs birthday here is her present…. Lamb please come here.
No matter, how bad your day is, how crap you feel in your dull job, or if you feel your life is unfulfilled, we as a group must never ever give up this fight, I want CF to stand for CURE FOUND …. but I am also a realist… it won’t be easy, so we, we fight on, we as a group organize events like this, we run, we abseil, we bake, we walk, we swim we do whatever is needed to fight this fight.
Somebody sent me this quote on face book.
Which touched me, it reads as follows:
Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: … It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.
Steve you are that strong Soul.
But I am going to add to that because
"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
Together and that’s each and every one of us Together we are stronger.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.
Todays Leg is Dedicated to:
To ALL who supported and helped
What an amazing night, for everyone who took part, or friends who sponsored Stephen Taylor on his walk for cf, raising over £44000 for cystic fibrosis xxxxx had lots of fun and drunk far to much, that I was still drunk Saturday morning…. naughty Lisa, loved every minute of it! Sorry update on money raised is £45,350 absolutely amazing xx
Posted by Lisa Clark on Monday, 15 October 2018
Beer of the Day
Generally lots, with the bar continuing to raise money for CF.