Craig – My Fundraising Story
“After spending my entire life thinking that I was not normal with having entire left side numbness and having limited control of my left hand, in 2016 at the age of 32 I was finally diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy after having several MRI scans due to encountering some severe shoulder and arm pain. Whilst the MRI scans showed that the cause of the pain was severe stenosis compressing nerve roots on my cervical spine, they also showed some brain damage which was then confirmed by a neurologist as being caused at birth and resulting in left side skeletal hemi atrophy, sensory loss and mild dyspraxia. I was shocked to realise for the first time that the bones on my left side are actually shorter than the right! Resulting in a tilted pelvis and my posture being compensated with my left shoulder being held down and forward.
It was around this time that I decided to take up running – mainly due to the realisation that I needed to get fit and lose some weight to help my posture, ease the nerve pain and keep my body mobile, but also a colleague had persuaded me to participate in the Cardiff 10K later in the year. So in June 2016 I dragged myself outside for my first run where I managed to cover 2.5K in 25 minutes and feeling like I was going keel over by the time I stopped. I started attending my local Parkrun at Tredegar House in Newport, and completed that first 10K race in September 2016 in 1 hour 8 minutes.
Fast forward 1 year and I had completed 5 10K races with this year’s Cardiff 10K being completed in 57 minutes. I decided that it was time for my next challenge which was to participate in a half marathon. My doctor had advised to not run races greater than 10K, but what do doctors know?
So I entered Cardiff Half Marathon 2017 and decided that it would be appropriate to try and raise some funds for CP Sport given that they do such great work in helping people with CP get active.
I was not looking to set a fast time on the day it was all about getting to the end, given that I had only managed to run 12K distance in training beforehand. I had no idea what to expect and lined up at the start line with nerves, but the atmosphere was great and thousands of people turned out to line the route and cheer us runners on. I managed to run nonstop all the way around and finished with a time of 2 hours 19 minutes. My efforts were well rewarded by raising over £370 plus Gift Aid for CP Sport.
I continue to run and have already entered my next half marathon which will be early next year. I did enter the ballot for the 2018 London Marathon in a moment of madness but was not too disappointed that I wasn’t successful – I may yet get to marathon distance but next year I think my main goal will be to participate in a triathlon.
Well done Craig and thank you for supporting Cerebral Palsy Sport!