My good friend from school Ian Couch has struggled to overcome M.E. for nearly 7 years and when he told me recently of a new drug trial which had been really successful in Norway, I could sense for the first time in a long while that he felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Ian, or Couchie as I have always called him, hasn't been able to work since 2006. In such a long time I've always found it amazing how positive he's remained throughout such a difficult period.
Anyway he told me about the Rituximab trial and how for it to be rolled out in the UK needed upwards of £350,000 to be raised. I don't know the science behind it at all but I know that the results of this trial have been pretty amazing and in some cases improvements have been seen upwards of 65%! That's enough to get some people back to work or certainly leading more 'normal' lives doing the things that some people take for granted.
You can find out more about the trial here and the amazing work that the people at Invest in ME do: http://investinme.org/IIME%20Statement%20UKRT%202013-09-24.htm
We're a bunch of massive football fans and have always wanted to go to all of the grounds (bizarre I know). Personally it ticks a lot of boxes for me too - I love driving long distances, listening to new music for hour upon hour and treating motorways like a giant dangerous game of Tetris.
We needed a time limit to do it in and 92 hours seemed an obvious and catchy one to pick. Can't actually be done in 92 concurrent hours -that would be impressive but with 2 drivers could be quite dangerous. But with a giant stop-watch and a committed 12/13hrs driving a day we are plotting to probably hit somewhere around 70 hrs -mainly due to the fact I need to be back to work on the Tuesday and already have lots of time booked off for 2014!
It also gives me a great opportunity to sample some of the UK's finest service station sustenance and see how good Kelly (my Kia Rio) really is! Plus we'll be visiting such glamorous locations as Scunthorpe, Bury, Millwall and Hartlepool (sorry!).
The goal is obviously to raise as much money and awareness for this cause as possible. Plain and simple. It would be a waste of the opportunity to not maximise on the event fully so we'll be writing off for donations from local businesses and try and get on tv and radio where possible (TalkSport and local BBC shows have been discussed so far).
Anyway much to be done to get this off the ground, sponsorship starting to come in so there's no turning back!!!!