It’s 2½ miles from our house to Paxton’s Tower, which looks out over the beautiful Towy Valley towards the Brecon Beacons. I left the house at 4.30 am, walking by the early dawn light, and got up to the tower just as the sun came over the horizon. The mountains were blue in the distance, mist lay in the valley and the dawn chorus was in full swing. I wanted to shout for joy!
But my heart was broken…so on my way down I did some maths: 2½ + 2½ = 5 miles, so 100 dawns at the tower would be 500 miles – a nice round number. The route is steep, up and down, about 650ft of climbing: 100 x 650 = 65,000ft – that’s twice the height of Everest! That would be a pretty good challenge! Could I do it? I’m a bit of an old guy with dodgy knees, and I’d have to get myself out of bed by 3.45am in summer.
On the other hand, my caring responsibilities mean that I need to stay as fit as I can for as long as I can, and although it’s generally difficult for me to be away from home, that’s the time of day when I’m least likely to be needed. I can be out and back in an hour and a half without being noticed, and I’m not far away.
You see, my wife and I are full-time carers for our youngest son, who was diagnosed with ME in 2004, when he was 11 years old. He’s 30 now, and very severely affected: in bed all the time, non-weight bearing, needing help with personal care, communicating with difficulty, and with neuro-cognitive / sensory problems which cut him off from the world he wants to inhabit – relationships, sport, literature and music. His life has been taken away by this illness. Two other members of the family share his diagnosis.
So 100 dawns? 500 miles? It’s a challenge - but nothing compared with the one faced by people with ME every day, year after year. Their resilience and determination in the face of loss and adversity is amazing. The toughest thing for me will be getting out of bed so early!
Will you support me to raise funds for 3 charities who’ve helped us and given us hope over many years? They’re all working hard to make the sun rise for people with M.E.
I am raising money for 3 charities; Invest In ME Research, ME Research UK and WAMES . To donate, choose the charity/ies below that you would like to support. Diolch - Thank you!
The Welsh Association of ME & CFS Support (WAMES) is a charity which gives a national voice to people with ME, CFS and PVFS in Wales, their carers and families, in order to improve services, access to services, awareness and support.
WAMES is currently aiming to raise £1500 to build a new website.