Thank you Anna!
Event Date: 25th September 2015
Thyroid issues are a common problem but seem to be extremely undervalued in the media and under researched in the NHS.
Along with many other effects, hair loss is common, hence why I decided to shave my hair. I wanted to raise awareness of thyroid issues and Thyroid UK. After shaving my hair and discussing it, I realised that thyroid issues were not as unheard of as I thought. Many of my teachers commended thyroid charities and shared stories about their friends and family that had thyroid problems, lots even had some themselves. Some told of how they had received great help and had got much better after having treatment but plenty talked about not getting adequate help from doctors. That is why Thyroid UK is so important.
With three generations of women having thyroid problems in my family, I like to think I know how devastating it can be – particularly if you aren't receiving help. Or if you're undiagnosed or unaware of thyroid conditions. I was really glad to shave my hair to raise money for Thyroid UK and got an extremely positive response both in and outside of school. We've raised over £650 and I'm happy to say it's going to Thyroid UK!
Previously Anna said:
Hi, my name is Anna, I am 14 and planning to shave my hair for charity.
I will be shaving my hair to a grade two/three on Friday 25th September to raise money for Thyroid UK
I will also be giving my hair to The Little Princesses Trust which makes wigs out of donated hair for children suffering from hair loss because of cancer treatment
Event Date: 13th September 2015
Daniel tells us how it went:
Well......Training had gone ok. The birth of my 2nd daughter however put a stop to that and with many sleepless nights and less training runs the thought of getting anywhere near my 2hr target looked to have gone.
The morning of the run itself I wasn't feeling it. My wife and daughters dropped me off and said they'd look for me on the T.V.!! (no chance!) but even the 15minute walk to the start from there seemed a long way.
I thought i'd set up my phone listen to some music and get in the mood.......disaster!!! my headphones must have fallen out my pocket in the car.
I now had no music and no way to track my pace for the run and the weather was getting hotter and hotter!
So I started off the run more in hope then expectation.Ii didn't miss the music or the pace updates due to the crowd but I had no idea how I was doing.
At 6 miles i was feeling good. at 8 miles i was still feeling good, until I realised that it was actually only the 7 mile markerIi had passed!!
The joy of coming down the hill to see the coast into the final mile was short lived, you see its at this point the course lies to you. It says 1 mile to the finish, however after running what feels like another 2 miles the sign now says 800 metres to the finish!!
Another mile and its now only 400metres. With no idea of my time i think its only one lap of a track I can pick up the pace and try a sprint finish. I was wrong. I had no energy left.
I crossed the line. It was over. all I had to do now was wait for my official time to be messaged to me........I'd done it 1hr 58 mins 02seconds.
I had beat my target and raised a bit of money in the process. I was very happy. Also it turns out my wife and daughter had actually seen me on TV also (10:59 at the start line, my 3 seconds of fame! - I dont think I made the highlights package!!)
Event date: 13th September 2015
Jackie tells us:
I completed the half marathon at Lake Vrynwy on Sunday. I limped in agony for the last 5 miles lol but was so determined to finish!
Previously, Jackie wrote:
My name is Jackie and I have hypothyroidism. This is often a silent disease and only those who suffer with it totally understands how much it can effect their life. I have had my highs and lows with little help from my GP, my main sources of help have been on-line, through groups and organisations like Thyroid UK.
Some days I have struggled to walk with joint pain, I have shooting pains through my bones, terrible brain fog, memory loss and constant fatigue.
I have researched my condition and have finally started to manage my condition myself.
I cannot believe I am out running again, never thought that would happen :)
Event date: 12th September 2015
Amy tells us:
I finished 100km in 11.14, 5th female home.
I didn't stop to walk but admit pace had likened to that of a snail. Fantastic event, toughest challenge yet, was a great day and met some brilliant people along the way. All of course, for a great cause. My family did express concerns at what my next challenge may be.....
Previously, Amy wrote:
You all know that I like running and that I like a challenge, you might not know that I suffer with Hypothyroidism and have for near 10 years now. An autoimmune disease more common in older women (great!) that has un-fun symptoms like fatigue, slow movements and weight gain amongst others.Thankfully, it is fairly easily controlled.
With more and more younger people diagnosed with it, I am raising money for Thyroid UK to help promote awareness and understanding of it and also show that is doesn't need to limit you doing anything, I certainly won't allow it!
Thames Path 100km Challenge
Come September I will be attempting to run 100km along the Thames Path from Putney Bridge to Henley in under 15 hours. My first 100km endurance race and my most gruelling and toughest challenge yet! -gulp!
Event date: 15-August-2015
The 15th of August 2015. I find myself standing next to Corstorphine Hill Tower with my good friend Gail. It’s a moment I’d been thinking about for months, since one evening when Gail and I were sitting watching X Factor and eating an obscene amount of pizza, as you do.
How the exact conversation came up, I don’t really remember, but it had been fuelled by a new years resolution of mine to do something for other people. Frequently I’d see posts on my facebook news feed about people bungee jumping (hmm no thanks!), trekking across far off lands etc and basically doing amazing things, all with an aim to raise money and awareness for different causes, often that were close to their hearts.
Having been diagnosed with Graves disease and then developing a thyroid disorder some years earlier, I thought “someone needs to raise money for these people too”. I was lucky; my body was able to fight back and I made a really good recovery. Not everyone has this experience. Others find their symptoms to be much worse, so I wanted to help them. From that moment the Seven Hills Challenge was born.
For those of you not local to Edinburgh, it has a number of spectacular hills. There are more than seven, but the ‘official’ list seems to be the Braid Hills, Blackford, Calton, Castle Hill, Craiglockhart, Arthur’s Seat, and finally Cortorphine. We weren’t going to do one, or two, or even each hill separately, oh no, we were going to do all seven…in a single day. I’ll be honest, I was in denial about this until the morning of August 15th while waiting for Gail on a bench outside Craiglockhart Sports Centre in my Thyroid UK t-shirt.
With the sun shining (just about), we set off towards Craiglockhart Pond and the path up the hill. I think we chose a fairly easy one to start with, and before we knew it we were taking our first ‘hill selfie’ (cos that’s how it’s done these days) at the top with a lovely view across the city. One good thing about social media is that allowed us to regularly update friends and family about our progress. It was like having everyone with us, especially with messages of support coming in throughout the day.
One down, six to go. A short walk through Morningside and we were at the Braid Hills. Getting to the top was again fairly quick, but we then had a fair ramble to get across to Blackford Hill. Luckily Gail and I have enough banter to last a climb up Everest, never mind seven hills!
A quick snack break at the bottom and we were ready for Blackford, hopefully taking the right path this time, not like the practice walk where we got a bit lost. Oops.
Thankfully after hill three, it was time for a tea break at a great café in Newington before setting off for Arthurs Seat. After a minor cramp set back and some stretching we made it to Holyrood Park and the bottom of Calton Hill where the tourists were the biggest obstacle.
I signed up for the Grand Union Challenge 50k walk because I wanted a personal challenge. I've struggled with thyroid disease (first Graves, then hypo after RAI) for more than 20 years, and started a support group on Facebook nearly 3 years ago which is getting bigger every day - showing just a fraction of the huge number of people who are struggling across the UK
Thyroid UK seemed the best charity to fundraise for, especially as I used their HealthUnlocked site as a source of info and support for a long time before getting involved with Facebook groups.
I didn't know when I signed up that I would have other personal challenges along the way. First my Mum was diagnosed with a rare cancer in April, then after successful surgery in June, suddenly collapsed and was diagnosed shortly after with a global hypoxic brain injury.
4 days before my walk, we were told she would never wake up and to think about withdrawal of care. I was out of shape, exhausted and not eating properly, but the more people said I should abandon my walk, the more determined I was to at least attempt it. I promised myself I would start it and go as far as I could.
So on 27th June I started in Paddington. It was a very hot day, but I found a comfortable pace, and made sure I drank plenty of water and ate snacks every hour. I had a visit from my boyfriend for lunch at the half way point which helped a lot, and the scenery along the canal was a good distraction as time went on. After I reached the last rest stop, at 34km, and still felt OK to carry on, I knew I had to try and finish.
11 hours after starting, at 50k, and with a couple of nasty blisters, I arrived at Watford.
I think being stubborn was all that carried me through in the final stages. It was very tough over the last 5k and I don't think I could have walked for another ten minutes by the end, but I finished it.
I'm proud to have raised more than my target of £500 and grateful to each and every person who sponsored me, especially those who donated even after I said I was unlikely to finish.
Best of all, a few days later, on 1st July, the day before Mum was due to be moved to palliative care, she started to talk - stunning everyone, including her doctors, who are now planning to move her to rehab.
I would urge anyone who thinks about doing a challenge like this to go for it. I had to do lots of training walks, and I had not ever walked the full distance until the actual day, but you get carried along by the event and by your own determination and suddenly you've done it and surprised yourself.
In 2015 Rachel Hedger and her niece Evie Hedger bravely cut off their lovely locks to raise money for Thyroid UK and 3 other charities.
They raised a fantastic £607.08 for Thyroid UK - Thank you Rachel and Evie!
My niece Evie (now 10) & I started fundraising in January 2015 to raise money to donate to 4 different charities which all mean a great deal to us as well as donating our chopped off hair to the Little Princess Trust after the hair cut in August 2015.
The charities were:
Little Princess Trust
British Heart Foundation
Brain Tumour Research
All four charities have a lot of meaning to us as we, friends / family have either been effected by or lost loved ones to heart problems, brain tumour, cancer etc.
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism over 3 years ago and then following further tests (paid for privately) in April 2015 it was confirmed that I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
Over the past 3 years, I have done a lot of my own research following the realisation fairly early on in my diagnosis that the NHS do little to help properly test and treat patients with Thyroid issues.
There has been (and continues to be) a lot of frustration and fighting with GP's etc to try and get the help needed to make me feel better.
During these past few years and the ongoing self-education about this horrible, often debilitating, condition - Thyroid UK has been an amazing source of information and support.
Although I am still struggling to get many of my symptoms under control and find suitable medication etc I have found a specialist who has been a complete breath of fresh air. To have someone understand and actually be able to help and listen so intently and be so thorough with my medical history and tests was just, well.......I was close to tears to be honest!! If it hadn't been for Thyroid UK, I would never have half the knowledge I have now to know what I need to look for and fight for and, in all honesty, Thyroid UK and the specialist I saw literally have saved my life as I was close to losing hope for anyone or anything to help me carry on.
But knowing there is so much support and knowledge out there from charities / people like you has not only made me feel stronger and able to fight for decent treatment, it has also bought the sad realisation that this is so poorly managed, diagnosed and treated on the NHS and I feel for the hundreds of thousands of people who are misdiagnosed and being lead down a horrible path because of the trust most people have in their GP's. And, I am very lucky to be able to afford to see a specialist from your list of people but I know many others can't and it pains me to think that they are feeling as I did in the beginning with no hope for improvement under the NHS.
The total raised (incl. gift aid) was £2,529.38, over double our original target!