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My Honest FlexyFoot Review

My Honest FlexyFoot Review

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Jamie McAnsh

By Jamie McAnsh

My Honest FlexyFoot Review!

So here it is My honest FlexyFoot Review.  My name is, as many of you know Jamie McAnsh, the founder of See No Bounds and a full time user of disability aids. I still use my wheelchair on the days that my condition Complete Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is at its worst.

On good days I am up and about using my SmartCrutches. When I first reviewed the product almost three years ago, the first thing I commented on was the feet. I found that the hour glass design was good on day to day use. However, I didn’t want to settle for day to day use. I wanted to take the SmartCrutch off road. I wanted to climb mountains. The standard feet was simply not going to cut it.

FlexyFoot off road

FlexyFoot added to the SmartCrutch.

When I contacted SmartCrutch and advised of my opinion with the hour glass feet, they soon responded. 

They had traced down a new product that would change everything about the SmartCrutch. They added the FlexyFoot to the Crutches and now you have the best crutches on the market with the best feet on the market and a set of ‘go anywhere crutches’ that are simply life changing.

But Why?

So the FlexyFoot has three very unique selling points. 

    • Firstly, they are as they are described Flexible. If you have used crutches or sticks for a long time you would at some point have slipped on tile flooring, possibly in a supermarket. The reason for this is because at the point of most impact (i.e when the crutches are in front of you and you are about to lean into the next step) the standard ferrule only has about 2% of contact on the floor, not ideal. With the FlexyFoot the ferrule flexes so at that same point you actually have 100% contact with the floor. Much better, safer and for me it gives me that confidence to go anywhere.
    • Secondly, there is a cushion style pad between the foot and the crutch. Yes, this is what creates the flexible movement. It is also what offers the full movement with that extra bit of cushion adding to the overall comfort of the end product. If you are using the FlexyFoot on a cane for example I don’t believe there is another product on the market that creates a suspension style addition to canes. The benefits for the user will be felt in the wrists. For me I put a lot of weight through my crutches and the bellows design is exactly what I need.
    • And thirdly,  easy to change and replace. Fortunately I don’t have issues with my hands so I can only half comment but the overall view from customers is that it is easy to change. To change the lower section of the foot you simply pull and twist. The upper section stays in place and the lower section comes away. Replace and carry on. You can purchase the new sections individually in our shop. 
FlexyFoot on ice

What about ice?

FlexyFoot have this thought of. What happens when it freezes or snows? You simply purchase a handy little ice boot that clips onto the end of the foot and with its zigzag spike design you will have stability and grip when you most need it. 

Last winter when we had a lot of snow Charlott and I went out for a walk, I was very stable and never slipped once. Charlott on the other hand was not so good and that was with a good pair of walking boots.

A great little unique addition that again has not been offered anywhere else that I know of. 

FlexyFoot Ice Boot and Ferule

Summary.

For me this is not a luxury item.  This is a life changing product. An investment in my health and well-being but also my safety. I have been using the Flexyfoot on my SmartCrutch now for nearly three years and I can honestly say I would not use anything else. When I first started selling these products earlier on this year I feel that I am helping people to improve their day to day lives. 

For elderly people stability and balance is everything. A simple fall can destroy confidence and if an injury is caused that person can be out of action for months. 

For younger people these products offer freedom and a new form of independence that I simply would not know how to put a price on. For me these are a necessity.

FlexyFoot replacement
Lower Flexyfoot section
FlexyFoot Ferrule
Complete FlexFoot Ferrule

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When I Woke Up One Morning

Tue, 15 October 2019 18:30 – 20:00 BST

You can purchase tickets here.

When I woke up one morning’ is an inspirational and motivation tour in which Beverley Jones, Stephanie Millward MBE and Jamie Mcansh come together to share their journeys of how when they did indeed wake up one morning they discovered (separately of course) that life had changed forever.

The first event is being hosted by Nick Ramsay AM for Monmouthshire. Tue, 15 October 2019 18:30 – 20:00 BST

The main goal is to demonstrate that whatever the dream you can turn it into reality with determination, faith and belief.

It has been said that ‘young people as well as older audiences’ would benefit from hearing these amazing stories as they all demonstrate in very unique ways that it is not the falling down that matters but the getting back up.

Following Cardiff  the event will be going on tour as we have had enquiries from North Wales, London, Kent and Ireland.

So why not hit the button above and come and join us on a journey of inspiring stories of how you can achieve so much when life can at time give you so little.

Beverley Jones

Beverley woke up one morning to discover that her mental health had deteriorated so much she physically did not want to get out of bed to go to work, she describes it as being paralysed from the inside out.

On visiting the doctor she was informed she was 2 weeks from hospitalisation (sectioned), his advice ‘take a sick note today and stop working now’ – diagnosis – clinical depression and severe anxiety, bought on by burnout from work.

What followed was a year off work, suicidal thoughts, self harm and a blackness from which she thought she would never recover. Throughout recovery she has however become a successful business owner, author of Made It Thru The Rain and an award winning speaker inspiring others that experience can sometimes be the greatest gift.

Beverly Jones
Stephanie Millward

Stephanie Millward MBE

Stephanie was training for the Olympics when one morning she woke up blind, her world was literally thrown into darkness.

Stephanie went on to discover she was suffering from MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and her dream felt shattered.

However not to be deterred she went on to become  a Rio 2016 Paralympic double gold-medallist, who trains with Team Bath AS In the London 2012 Legacy Pool.

Stephanie recently competed in her third World Championships and broke the current world record by 22 seconds.

Having won 11 medals – four of them gold – on her previous appearances at Eindhoven in 2010 and Montreal in 2013 stephanie continues to make her mark in disability swimming.

Jamie McAnsh

Jamie went to bed one night and woke up to find himself paralysed from the waist down. Left with a condition called CRPS This meant that Jamie lost the use of his legs and he wasn’t sure if or when this would change. 

Jamie went on to set himself a set of challenges that would take his mind, body and spirit to the upmost limits raising £250,000 for a string of local charities.

An honoured winner of the prestigious Brave Britain Award, as well as a multi-award winner for outstanding achievements. Jamie, as seen on Wales online, is also the man who climbed a mountain on his hands. Why? Because he wanted to reach his summit and nothing was going to stop him.

Jamie is now looking to climb to Base Camp Everest in 2020, proving that dreams do come true when you live life outside the box.

You can purchase your tickets here.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

By Jamie McAnsh

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

The following blog is all about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). It is a condition I live with and have done so for five years. You may recognise a lot of the text from a previous blog I wrote called; My Life With CRPS and Why Everest. 

So why am I repeating an already established blog? Simple, my life is not only about being an adventurer or a speaker. Nor is it only about being an adaptive athlete or ambassador for life.

It is my life with a condition so misunderstood that the NHS has even described Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) as the most misunderstood neurological condition known.

Jamie in the early days of CRPS

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke or a heart attack. The pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury. For me, the illness affects both legs and in fact everything from the L2 vertebra down.

Complex regional pain syndrome is uncommon, and its cause isn’t clearly understood. Treatment is most effective when started early. In such cases, improvement and even remission are possible. However, in my case, my diagnosis was delayed by 13 months. The reason behind this was due to doctors not understanding the condition. In fact the first doctor I spoke to did not actually listen to what I was saying. It felt to me like he didn’t care or even believe me. 

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome include:

    • Continuous burning or throbbing pain, usually in your arm, leg, hand or foot
    • Sensitivity to touch or cold
    • Swelling of the painful area
    • Skin temperature — alternating between sweaty and cold
    • Changes in skin colour, ranging from white and mottled to red or blue
    • Changes in skin texture, which may become tender, thin or shiny in the affected area
    • Slight changes in hair and nail growth
    • Joint stiffness, swelling, and damage
    • Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness and loss (atrophy)
    • Decreased ability to move the affected body part

Symptoms may change over time and vary from person to person. Pain, swelling, redness, noticeable changes in temperature and hypersensitivity (particularly to cold and touch) usually occur first. I honestly thought during this period that the symptoms were the after-effects of the shingles I had in November of 2013.

Over time, the affected limbs can become cold and pale. It may undergo skin and nail changes as well as muscle spasms and tighten. Once these changes occur, the condition is often irreversible. Unfortunately, this is the situation for myself. Sometimes the spasms are so bad I have been known to burst blood vessels in my eyes. I have also in the past, unfortunately, urinated and even defecated during one of these spasms.

Can it spread?

Complex regional pain syndrome occasionally may spread from its source to elsewhere in your body, such as the opposite limb. I started out just on my right leg but very quickly it spread to my left. The result was almost sudden and I was left with neurological paralysis. How this occurred was my brain had registered the severity of the pain and shut down the signals to the effected area. 

In some people, signs, and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome go away on their own. In others, signs and symptoms may persist for months to years. Treatment is likely to be most effective when started early in the course of the illness. My condition due to the time of delay in diagnoses and treatment will never go however with treatment and pain management I have learned several methods to control the pain.

One of those methods is massage. Regular sports massage treatment at the point of most weakness can be very effective. For me, this is my lower back, my legs, and my feet. My partner Charlott is a qualified massage therapist and her continual treatment every other day has played a massive part in my recent success of climbing Ben Nevis.

Jamie McAnsh on Ben Nevis
Jamie And Charlott on Ben Nevis

When to see a doctor.

If you experience constant, severe pain that affects a limb and makes touching or moving that limb seem intolerable, see your doctor to determine the cause. It’s important to treat complex regional pain syndrome early.

Causes

The cause of complex regional pain syndrome isn’t completely understood. It’s thought to be caused by an injury to or an abnormality of the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS typically occurs as a result of a trauma or an injury.

Complex regional pain syndrome occurs in two types, with similar signs and symptoms, but different causes: I had shingles in November 2013 and in January of 2014 my condition had deteriorated to the point of paralysis.

So what are the two types?

Type 1. Also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD), this type occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage the nerves in your affected limb. About 90 percent of people with complex regional pain syndrome have type 1.

Type 2. Once referred to as causalgia, this type has similar symptoms to type 1. But type 2 complex regional pain syndrome follows a distinct nerve injury.

I am Type 1 suffered after shingles and if you have ever had this illness you will understand the pain that it causes.

In many cases of complex regional pain, the syndrome occurs after a forceful trauma to an arm or a leg. This can include a crushing injury, fracture or amputation.

Other major and minor traumas — such as surgery, heart attacks, infections, and even sprained ankles — can also lead to complex regional pain syndrome.

It’s not well-understood why these injuries can trigger complex regional pain syndrome. Not everyone who has such an injury will go on to develop complex regional pain syndrome. It might be due to a dysfunctional interaction between your central and peripheral nervous systems and inappropriate inflammatory responses.

Complications

If complex regional pain syndrome isn’t diagnosed and treated early, the disease may progress to more-disabling signs and symptoms. These may include:

Tissue wasting (atrophy). Your skin, bones, and muscles may begin to deteriorate and weaken if you avoid or have trouble moving an arm or a leg because of pain or stiffness.

Muscle tightening (contracture). You also may experience tightening of your muscles. This may lead to a condition in which your hand and fingers or your foot and toes contract into a fixed position.

I have already started to experience some of these symptoms and in order to try and keep them at bay I keep myself as active as possible to that I am not left unable to walk or move my limbs. This will be my final outcome, I have come to terms with this. If I can prolong the symptoms for as long as I can then I prolong my value of life.

Prevention

These steps might help you reduce the risk of developing complex regional pain syndrome:

Taking vitamin C after a wrist fracture. Studies have shown that people who took a daily minimum dose of 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C after a wrist fracture had a lower risk of complex regional pain syndrome compared with those who didn’t take vitamin C.

Early mobilization after a stroke. Some research suggests that people who get out of bed and walk around soon after a stroke (early mobilization) lower their risk of complex regional pain syndrome.

If I wake up and I am not in pain! My first question is, Have I died?

“Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos .Aenean non turpis vitae ligula tristique sagitt isras varius erat pulvinar eros pretium”

Other Facts and links

Every year it is estimated that 17,000 people form Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and yet it is still so misunderstood. Why?

Well the good new is things are improving. Specialists in the subject can be found and this is the first step to wide spread understanding knowledge development and posible education. 

There are centres now such as  Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in BathHere you will find advice and a level of support. 

Burning Nights is a charity that will support you and guide you on your journey of living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Other links you may want to research is CRPS UK

You can also find a lot of information on the NHS website even though the doctors may not be able to offer you much information themselves. 

Jamie McAnsh with his SmartCrutches

Summary

I have lived with this condition now for 6 years. I have faced anger for not being able to understand why this is happening to me. Overcome challenges faced by the condition. Looked at many ways to adapt my life so I can live a full existence. 

The hardest challenge is facing the fact that I won’t get better and in fact there is a strong chance my condition will deteriorate over time. I have kept myself as active as possible, played sports and even pushed my limits as far as I have been able to. 

I have met amazing people along the way like Jamie Gane who have also had to overcome the same challenges. Jamie also had to have his leg amputated. An operation that he did not take lightly but at the same time it has changed his life for the better. 

I have been able to connect with people like Sara Beach who’s brother made a fantastic video all about her life with CRPS. You can also view the video in her blog with the above link. 

Life with CRPS is not easy, the pain is like nothing else, the mental pressure is intense but the knowledge is growing and more and more people are learning and understanding the condition. This may not feel like it helps you but what you need to know is that you are not alone and there is a whole community out there that will answer any questions you may have. If you want to ask me anything please feel free to do so.

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SmartCrutchs NHS

SmartCruthes (NHS)

SmartCrutch In Stock

We Stock the full SmartCrutch range

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SmartCrutches NHS. Why is this not a known brand? And, Why are they not readily available?

The answer to the question is simple. Cost. The reason SmartCrutches NHS is not a brand! The NHS serves and supports millions of patients everyday. They have to look at the cost of supplying a suitable service that fits the majority. 

SmartCrutches are well designed and engineered product that has the well being of the user in mind. Designed in South Africa and later exported all over the world they have created a new option to long term crutch use.

Read our review of the product.

NHS style crutches cost the NHS £17 a pair! this figure sound fairly cheap, yet the cost to the NHS every year is nearly £3 million.

So why so much?

Because it has been reported that only a fifth of all crutches, sticks and frames are ever returned, the rest are either in peoples garages, attics or unfortunately landfill. 

This is the reason why the NHS could not afford to supply its patients with a product that would cost them on average between £75 for a single ore £140 for a pair.

Its all down to cost

SmartCrutch Eldow

Most patients that are issued crutches are short term users. So why cant the NHS supply the SmartCrutch to those in greater need or long term use?

Again it comes down to cost. The NHS are forced to keep costs down. Remember these crutches are supplied by the NHS but for by the Tax payer. with constant pressure from the media as well as the health board doctors and Occupational health specialist have their hand tied.

What are the benefits to the SmartCrutch over NHS issued crutches? Simply comfort and reduction of pressure on your wrists and hands. Long term use on standard crutches can lead to conditions such as repetitive strain and tendinitis. 

With the SmartCrutch the pressure is taken through the elbow and shoulder. these are a much stronger muscle group than the wrist.  With the use of a specialised piece of equipment you could save yourself pain and discomfort in the long term.

What is Tendinitis?

Overview – from the Mayo Clinic Website.

Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon — the thick fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint.

While tendinitis can occur in any of your tendons, it’s most common around your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and heels.

Some common names for various tendinitis problems are:


    • Tennis elbow
    • Golfer’s elbow
    • Pitcher’s shoulder
    • Swimmer’s shoulder
    • Jumper’s knee

Most cases of tendinitis can be successfully treated with rest, physical therapy and medications to reduce pain. If tendinitis is severe and leads to the rupture of a tendon, you may need surgery.

Symptoms

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of tendinitis tend to occur at the point where a tendon attaches to a bone and typically include:

    • Pain often described as a dull ache, especially when moving the affected limb or joint
    • Tenderness
    • Mild swelling
    • Forearm platform angle adjustable from 22.5° to a 90°. So reducing a uncomfortable and un natural arm position.
    • Height adjustment: 10 positions. To make sure you are fitted correctly but also assists in posture.
    • Forearm platform foam padding – Memory Foam for long lasting comfort. Reducing the risk of repetitive strain.
    • Pressure reduced by up to six times per square centimeter (0.5kg/cm2).
    • Hourglass-shaped crutch ferrule design, maximises surface contact.

A good set of crutches for long term use is an investment that the NHS does not have the budget for so it does not look like SmartCrutches NHS will become a thing. However, as a end-user of the product Jamie first became an ambassador of the product and has shown his trust in them many times. Climbing mountains as well as long distance use, and even more so with his plan climb up Everest next year. as someone who suffers nerve pain with his condition CRPS Jamie understands fully the benefit of what something like the Smartcrutch can offer. The SmartCrutch range is currently in stock in our Shop. Please follow the link. Thank you for reading SmartCrutches NHS and hopefully it has given an insight to the product, its benefits and why it is so important to invest in your health. Unfortunately we can not rely on the NHS and its already pressured resources for. A system that is already abused and miss used.  

Baddesley Clinton

Charlott and I Stood at the bridge.

Baddesley Clinton

Baddesley Clinton, Ticked off the list. Myself and Charlott are not simply attempting to visit every National Trust property in the UK only for the fun of it. Being an amazing challenge of 500 properties we are going to spread it several years. We love the experience these treasures offer and the history and story behind the buildings. 

You can read some more of our National Trust 500 stories here as we explore the amazing list.

There is a romance to many but to some there is a dark past. This property shares some of that dark past. Hidden areas to hide priests in 1590’s. Romance and love shared amongst the residence of the property known as the quartet.  

If you get the chance you have to take a moment to learn the history and story of Marmion Edward Ferrers and Rebecca Dulcibella Orpen. Joined later by Georgiana, Lady Chatterton and Edward Dering. Look for the tales and stories all round the house captured in the paintings of Rebecca. A keen and clearly very talented artist.

Baddesley Clinton with its spectacular presence. Surrounded by woodlands. Once build in the heart of the ancient forest of Arden. Subsequently it was built using Arden stone. 

The moat was a later feature and added in the 13th century but carries a very prominent feature at Baddesley Clinton.  

TV Apperarence

It was no surprise to us when we found out that the property had made an appearance on The Antiques Road Show. And in fact it has made its TV debut more than once.

You Can Watch the show here.

A Survivor

A survivor in its own right. With a love story and tail to share. Showing off its great moat, fantastic architecture, gate house and gardens. This property is definitely a place you have to see. 

As always the staff where amazing, telling the stories in great dramatic fashion. Sharing with us the history of the objects placed around the property. Shedding light on the paintings and some of the meaning behind Rebecca’s amazing pieces of art.

One of many Stain Glass windows
By Tony Hisgett
The front of this exquisite property
Unknown Source
The Great Hall
By Tony Hisgett
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Everest Christmas Ball

Everest Christmas Ball

Tickets Avalible

£50 / Each

Everest Christmas Ball

Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel

Friday 29th November at 7pm
Drinks followed by Dinner & Dancing
An auction and Everest Christmas Bottles sale will be held
All proceeds from the event will be donated to The Everest CRPS Fund and Burning Nights
Tickets £50
Contact: [email protected]
Charlott: 07985 552301 Jamie: 07463 339555
Black Tie
Carriages at 00.30

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Mount Everest Base camp challenge

Everest

Mount Everest Base camp challenge

The challenge of Mount Everest base camp is going to be a real test on Jamie’s mental and physical state. Completing the full walk on SmartCrutches, the challenge will be a test of upper body endurance. Once completed Jamie will join a very short list of disabled climbers to reach Base Camp – Mount Everest and as far as we can tell he will be the first CRPS Sufferer ever to achieve this amazing feat. 

The Story as you may know

In January 2014, Jamie McAnsh was diagnosed with a functional neurological condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). A condition that left him neurologically paralysed from the waist down. Jamie’s journey has been life-changing. However, instead of focusing on a restricted life in a wheelchair, Jamie focused on living life outside the box.

Jamie developed a new taste for adapted adventure and committed to showing that a disability does not rule your abilities. In the first year as a wheelchair user, Jamie found a new love for sport. By March 2014, he became a signed member for the Cardiff Celts Wheelchair Basketball team. By the August of 2014, Jamie was selected for the Welsh Wheelchair Rugby 7’s team, Representing Wales in the Home Nations Cup as team Kicker.

With the ultimate aim to not only prove his own abilities but to show and inspire others, Jamie decided to set himself 12 challenges– one new challenge every month, for the year of 2015.

As part of this, Jamie completed the 100-mile-long course of the Carten100 as part of the South Wales Hand-cycle team.

Barely giving himself time to recover, 4 weeks later, Jamie became the first wheelchair user to complete the gruelling WAAT4 challenge!

Jamie’s tireless determination earned him the WAAT4 Greatest Achievement Award.

Jamie has won several other awards for his profound work within disability sport, charity fundraising, reaching a staggering £250,000. Just part of his outstanding achievements. Jamie has been described as inspirational, motivational and a role model to young and old alike. Demonstrated by his determination and willpower.

In 2016, Jamie became the countries first ‘Brave Britain Award’ winner of the “against all the odds” category.

The reality behind the dream

For Jamie Mount Everest is a dream, Base Camp is a childhood ambition and now with your help he has the chance to achieve something that 5 years ago was thought of as impossible. Jamie Talks about CRPS in detail and his views behind Mount Everest here, Take a look. 

Jamie was once asked by a physio during his journey to learn how to walk. “What is your ultimate goal? Jamie replied “Base Camp Mount Everest” Facing continual pain and spasms Jamie’s journey was not easy. At 33 years old and having to learn the basics of balance and movement he put in everything he had.

For hours he would stand next to a wall and move one side step at a time. Determination was his driving force and 5 years on he has travelled a long way.

Far from better

Still very much a wheelchair user. Jamie can walk with the use of Smartcrutches. Jamie knows that he can complete this challenge, but he can’t do it alone. He needs your help. Kit, travel, food and expenses Jamie needs to raise £6000. This will cover the costs for himself and his partner and carer Charlott to reach Base Camp and back home safe.

As well as personal sponsorship. Jamie and Charlott are looking for company funding to help not only fund the excursion, but also raise awareness for a condition that leaves the sufferer in continual pain with very little relief. Most people have never heard of CRPS but for Jamie it is very real and Charlott supports him every step of the way.

So please help in any way you can! Visit Jamie’s website at www.seenobounds.co.uk or find him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We appreciate your support and any assistance you can offer.

Everest Base Camp
Jamie And Charlott on Ben Nevis
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CRPS – Told by Sara Beach

CRPS – Told by Sara Beach

CRPS

CRPS, a condition I have suffered for 5 years. A progressive condition that the NHS describes as a poorly understood condition.

When I first got diagnosed I suffered from lack of information available, Doctors not listing to what I was saying. Most of the public not knowing or understanding pain related disabilities. I talk more in-depth about how i live with CRPS in another blog My Life With CRPS and why Everest. 

CRPS is actually rather common as i later found out, one of the amazing young men i met along the way was Jamie Gane. 

Like many others, I am on several types of strong medications to control my condition. Nerve medication to stop the Spasms. Lets not forget Anti Depression Medication to control my mental health through the bad days.  

I have shared my story many times over the past years. With Talks, Blogs and interviews. People always seem amazed of how much pain can be caused by very little. 

Sara talks about the changes CRPS has caused in her life. The worries she had when coming to terms with her disability. Sara talks about how the public viewed here and the discrimination she faced. I can relate to almost every aspect of her story so why don’t we let Sara tell us her story in her words.

Video Staring Sara and her family

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Llanerchaeron, The John Nash Experience.

Llanerchaeron, The John Nash Experience.

By Jamie and Charlott

John Nash

Llanerchaeron with its simplistic design leads you into many false impressions. The fact that at the approach to the main door you see two bay windows. Once inside you are confused by the fact that there is a fireplace where the window should be, rather interesting.

John Nash designed and placed the property to make the most of the views and picturesque landscapes. The main building is built around an amazing central staircase. Once on the second floor you are greeted by yet another space of surprise and intriguing design. Look out for the oval rooms and curved doors. Amazing features that has survived all this time.

John Nash was a little known architect at the time and only returned to Wales from London after going bankrupt in 1783. Returning to his mothers’ home in an attempt to rebuild his reputation.

He was later commissioned by King George IV to design the Brighton Pavilion, Regent street in London and Buckingham Palace. Its safe to say he managed to rebuild his reputation. Later he became one of the most renowned national architects of his time. Llanerchaeron had a strong foothold in the success of the John Nash portfolio. 

Sarah Biffen

The visitors journey takes you through rooms full of stories and past. A painting by Sarah Biffen must be one of the most amazing paintings of the property. Sarah was unique as she was born with no arms and only vestigial legs, she measured at only 94 cm tall.

The painting below was remarkably completed by her using her mouth. A fascinating part of history based on the times and her condition. In later years Sarah went on to paint many pieces for royalty. As a young child of twelve years old, Sarah Biffens’ family apprenticed her to a man named Emmanuel Dukes, who exhibited her in fairs and sideshows throughout England possibly as part of a freak show or circus act.

According to some accounts, it was Dukes who taught her to paint, holding the paintbrush in her mouth, in order to increase her value as an attraction. Sarah clearly made the most of this time and excelled in her fame. Sarah Biffen held exhibitions, sold paintings and even charged entrance fees so people could watch her paint and sew. A remarkable individual and I guess a disability ambassador of her time.

As much to see outside as there is on the inside.

Walking through this impressive property, is an incredible experience of history and time with plenty of wonderful things to see and a story in every room.
Once you step outside you are greeted with a wonderful working farm with many beautiful animals going about their lives. A magnificent wall garden crammed full of flowers, herbs and vegetables will leave you feeling your keen to try out green fingers. If going for a walk is your thing then don’t forget to visit the lake, full of ducks and wild insects. I even seen a few dragonflies playing on the water surface.
From start to finish the day was wonderful. The staff are so friendly and clearly care about the property, we were even tested on a few items in the kitchen. I am glad to say I actually got a few right.

National Trust always seem to try and get young people involved by adding something to the property for them to get their minds working. This time it was 10 hidden mice. Well we decided to get involved and found all ten. Yes, we were very proud of ourselves. If you can’t have fun then what’s the point as I always say.

The property is relatively accessible but definitely has its restrictions, I used my SmartCrutches and Flexyfoot add-ons so for me it was a simple case of taking my time on the stairs inside and making sure I did not trip. Outside was relatively flat so wheelchair access was achievable and the lower levels of the property was also fairly accessible.

Disability emojis added. Guide dog and wheelchair user is now available.

Disability emojis added. Guide dog and wheelchair user is now available.

here are just two of the many new emojis introduced. The idea is to better represent disabled people in the world of emojis. 

All sounds fair enough to me, and it is world emoji day so again very fitting story. recently covered by the BBC I did find the new releases rather cool and had to spread the word.

And here is a list.

  • A guide dog
  • A man and woman walking with a cane
  • A man and woman signing that they are deaf
  • An ear with a hearing aid
  • A man and woman in both mechanical and manual wheelchairs
  • A service dog (a trained dog that helps those with hidden disabilities)
  • A prosthetic arm
  • A prosthetic leg
  • Skin tone variations for ‘holding hands’ emoji
  • Yawning face
  • Animals: Sloth, skunk, flamingo
  • Food: Garlic, waffle, falafel, butter, ice cube
  • Objects: Parachute, yo-yo, kite
  • Clothing: Safety vest, swimsuit

What kind of emoji's would you like to see?

Westbury Court Garden, a little spot of beauty.

Westbury Court Garden, a little spot of beauty.

A small step back in time at this amazing National Trust site. A joy to visit, sit and recharge you mind, body and soul.

By Jamie and Charlott

Westbury Home Gardens

Westbury Home Gardens, a step back in to the time of Dutch style influenced water gardens and a refreshing calmness of being surrounded by unusual plants and amazing trees, some being as old as 300 years. 

For Charlott and I this was a little bit of everything. History education, tranquillity and the great outdoors.

We love to spend time together, chatting and walking. Taking in our surroundings and looking for inspiration. The gardens here are beautiful. The sounds of running water from the many wild water channels and domesticated fountains. The vast show of the canals in the garden while greeted by the carp that live there was simply amazing.

Westbury Court gardens was in fact one of the first garden restoration projects undertaken by The National Trust, you can learn all about it at the Westbury Court Gardens website.

Such a beautiful place to go and a definite must see. Wheelchair friendly and the staff are simply lovely. The volunteers do a wonderful job maintaining this site and keeping it looking as stunning as they do.   

Westbury Court Gardens has not been without its bad luck though. In 2014 it was badly flooded. You can read all about the story covered by the BBC news at the time.

Unique Gloucestershire garden 'at risk' from flooding

A unique water garden that has been repeatedly flooded could be “at risk” unless a solution is found. Read more..

During our time here the sun was shining, the flowers were in bloom and it could not have been any further from the sites shown in the above BBC new story. We walked around the grounds with Tesni our labradoodle. Tesni loved it as much as we did and even had the pleasure of taste testing a few of the fruits on the trees in the orchard. 

Westbury On Seven Parish Church

Well we couldn’t visit Westbury Court Gardens without going over to see the adjacent church. A strange church and rather unique. As we approached from the back of the church grounds it looked the same as many others. The building was showing real signs of age and the grounds looked in my opinion under cared for. After visiting the peaceful tranquillity of the Dutch Water Gardens, this place looked rather chaotic to say the least. 

It was once we walked around the front that the reality of this rather unique church became apparent. The bell tower was not attached to the main church!

The distinctive steeple is not attached to the main building because of a fire which burned down the old wooden building soon after the new steeple was completed. Within the porch of the church are several markings of crosses and full crosses made during the English Civil War. The north porch and north aisle are the oldest parts of the church, having been built around 1290. 

I found this site very interesting although when Charlott entered the building itself she felt a real sense of the chaos about the place. 

We recommend a visit to Westbury Court Gardens and while you are there pop into the Westbury On Seven Parish Church. Its a unique little treasure that otherwise not found. 

Talking of finds if you are into Geocaching like us you will be interested to know there is also a nice little cach hidden in the area as well. 

Double amputee from Zambia who makes crutches for children gets to walk again.

Double amputee from Zambia who makes crutches for children gets to walk again.

By Jamie Mcansh

At the age 34, driver and carpenter David Miti’s life changed forever.  David lost both of his legs to gangrene. I can relate to this journey as this was around about the same time of life that my life changed forever.

You have no choice and no chance to plan for what happens. 

David Miti was faced with two choices, just like I was, choice 1) was to carry on. Choice 2) was to give up. And, just like myself David considered choice 2.

However, He found the strength and even continued his life in carpentry devoting time to making crutches, special chairs, and standing frames for children in his hometown in Zambia.

David is now in his 50s, his kindness and dedication to others is being rewarded: 500 Miles is a charity and they have funded a project to fit him with artificial limbs.

David says, “Life can change anytime, and you have to accept it the way it comes to you.”

Never a truer word spoken.

Credits:

This video was produced by National Geographic.

My day at Myddelton College

My day at Myddelton College

Recently I experienced one of the highlights of my Speaker Career as a guest speaker. I was the guest at  Myddelton College in Denbigh for the 2019 speech day. It could not have been a more worth while journey.

I met some amazing people who I truly believe will soon come to be considered as my friends, I helped present awards for academic and personal achievements to a future generation of Wales. And I was given the privilege of being offered the opportunity to tell my story to a school of amazing young people, parents, and teachers.

Myddelton College became a part of my life story, a chapter in my book and a memory I will definitely hold dear. The welcome and hospitality I received was incredible and very much appreciated.

Thank you so much for having me as a guest at your amazing school and I look forward to seeing you all again in the future. Please see some of the amazing comments I received via social media.

Whilst attending my children’s speech day at Myddelton College yesterday I was fortunate enough to listen to your amazing and inspirational talk you gave. As a parent I would like to say thanks for the talk you gave. I thought it gave a very strong message which not just to the children but the adults can take heart and strength from your message that whatever life throws at you, you are going to have your highs and your lows in life. Appreciate the highs and “getbackup” from the lows it will make you’re a more driven, determined and better person with a more compassionate  rounded view on life.

Kath Lightbown Had the privilege of attending speech day at Myddelton college yesterday. Your address to the pupils and their families was truly inspirational. Should you ever be in this area again I would welcome the opportunity, if possible, to come and listen to you. If you ever publish a book I would be the first in the queue to obtain a copy. Thank you for sharing your life experiences with us.

lauracj77

As a parent at Myddelton College’s speech day, I just wanted to say a huge thank you…Your story was inspirational, you have a fantastic attitude to life and certainly one I know my daughter and I will certainly take a lot from #alwaysgetbackup

eryn.whitee23

thank you so much for an amazing speech!! i cried near the end!! you have had such a hard go at life but you have got through it!! As my dad said to you ‘your friend and my dads friend died together such a small world🙂’ thank you for an amazing speech!! x

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Loneliness is the darkest corner

Loneliness is the darkest corner

When I stand in front of a school or organization I send a very important message when you fall getbackup

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

What a true quote. I can remember when I sat and watched my world fall to pieces right in front of my eyes. Nothing I could do to stop or control it. No power to change the inevitable. I can remember the one feeling like no other. “I am on my own” even though I was surrounded by people I knew that not one of them could ever understand the feelings I was having. the thoughts that were going through my mind.

I stepped in the darkest place of my life and could not see any way out. I had fallen over and the loneliness had taken hold. My life changed when I spoke out to someone about how I felt. That was the first step on my journey to Getting back up. Now I am a fighter with the aim of helping others to gain the skills to fight back and get back up.

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A Humbling Moment

A Humbling Moment

There is often a point in my life when I look at what I am doing and wonder how I ever got there. Standing in front of a room full of people, everyone in the room has lived their lives their way and yet, today they were completely focused on my story. The absolutely unbelievable feeling of pride is always a great feeling.

I love working with and alongside Beverley from Awaken Coaching. However, The absolute honour of sharing a stage with the amazing twice gold medallist Paralympian, Stephanie Millward MBE today was a privilege. I literally can’t wait to work with you again soon. Good luck in the upcoming world championships.

Nick Ramsay was also amongst the honors list to open the show and in fairness Nick, you did it in style. But my final mention for the day has to go to Alice Manship because even though I know Beverley worked hard to get everything in place I know Alice played a massive part so well done both. And thank you for having me along and thank you to all the guests for allowing me to share my story. I hope I have inspired at least one person in the room today and if so for me it was a great success.

So what do you do if you fall over?

motivationalspeaker speaker network seenobounds getbackup

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Empathy -The key skill.

Empathy -The key skill.

Empathy is a skill not everyone has but it can be something you can learn. Empathy is trying to understand what another person is feeling without portraying your own thoughts and feelings. It is seeing the world through another persons eyes without prejudging. This profound skill helps people to get along better and to feel better around each other. It is a key skill to customer service and care industries, however, it is often forgotten as I am sure we can all relate to.
 
Having empathy is a key ingredient in becoming the best person you can be, if you open your mind to others you will learn more than you will ever teach, the reward is endless.
 
You can practice empathy by listening to someone rather than trying to talk to them. Ask someone how they are feeling if you think there is something wrong, sometimes that is all that is required. Once you have asked someone don’t forget to listen.
 
learning about people from different backgrounds and cultures is not only a great way to interact but also offers you a better understanding of how they are as people. something we unfortunately forget or feel uneasy about how to achieve. The answer is easy, Just ask.
 
Showing concern and care for others, paying attention to the needs of others, and getting to know someone better instead of judging them. this seems rather an easy thing to do, right? Wrong, in today’s society social communication seems at an all-time low. You can change that.
 
Empathy is easy to say, but hard to do. Remember, if you change your direction others will follow and if you make a difference to one person that person will appreciate you, and if you try to become empathetic in any small ways then the world will be a better place because of you!

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#CarersWeek

#CarersWeek

By Jamie McAnsh

Happy Monday! I hope you are having a wonderful day. I just wanted to share some interesting facts with you today and hope you can take these in. We are entering one of the most important weeks of the national calendar this week and possibly rather understated. We are in q week dedicated to those who work harder than most. Dedicated to the care of a loved one, a sibling or a parent.

But did you know?

Young adult carers aged between 16 and 18 years are twice as likely not to be in education, employment, or training. Based on Census figures there are estimated to be at least 376,000 young adult carers in the UK aged 16–25.

The more shocking figure is this!

There are an estimated 700,000 children and young people across the UK, some as young as five-years-old, who are caring for family members.

Please take the time to share this post and keep in mind so many that put others first.

 

#CarersWeek Today I want to thank Charlott for all that she does for me that many will never see nor fully understand.

We have not been together long but Charlott has accepted my illness and my condition, taken the time to learn and understand the complexity of CRPS, and offers me the empathy that at times I need. I never look for sympathy I just need someone to understand the fact that I am in pain. Charlott understands and never judges.

I am very grateful to Charlott for taking the time to learn about CRPS as it is not an easy illness to grasp. Charlott selflessly makes sure I am comfortable and will even massage my pain to offer me some relief even when I know she is exhausted herself.

Thank you for everything you do. xxx

#Fridayfeeling

That #fridayfeeling

mindfulness should not be a chore it should be a major part of our lives. 

Jamie McAnsh

By Jamie McAnsh

As the working day comes to a close we all focus on the fact that it is Friday, we are free to enjoy the weekend. That could mean meeting up with friends or spending time with family. This is a very important time for us all to interact with others and share a smile and let our hair down.
 
For many, the stress of the week may still be playing on your mind, that could be work or school related. This stress is considered negative stress. It’s the kind of stress that causes us to suffer from all kinds of anxiety and in some cases depression.
 
It may not be an easy thing to understand or to let go but during any type of downtime from our busy lives, we need to take a moment to switch off and relax. This could be in the form of going for a walk or even doing some simple light exercise.
 
Meditation is a great way to recharge your mind, simple breathing techniques are proven to improve mental wellbeing. As a society, there is a general knowledge about healthy eating and keeping fit and active but as a society, it is commonplace to forget the most important organ in the human body. The mind.
 
Have a great weekend and remember taking care of yourself is not a chore it is a necessity to a healthy state of mind and wellbeing.
 
#mentalhealth #fridayfeeling #mindfullness #seenobounds #live #love #bekind

“What day is it?” asked Pooh. 

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. 

“My favourite day,” said Pooh.

My Life with CRPS and why Everest

My life with CRPS and why Everest

For some this challenge my seem like a holiday of a life time, for me it is the ultimate challenge of overcoming the impossible and showing that nothing is out of your reach. 

Jamie McAnsh with his SmartCrutches

By Jamie McAnsh

Jamie McAnsh with his SmartCrutches

My Life with CRPS and why Everest By Jamie McAnsh

My life with CRPS and why Everest

For some, this challenge may seem like a holiday of a lifetime, for me it is the ultimate challenge of overcoming the impossible and showing that nothing is out of your reach.

Overview – What is CRPS?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke or a heart attack. The pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury. For me, the illness affects both legs and in fact everything from the L2 vertebra down.

Complex regional pain syndrome is uncommon, and its cause isn’t clearly understood. Treatment is most effective when started early. In such cases, improvement and even remission are possible. However, in my case, my diagnosis was delayed by 13 months. The reason behind this was due to doctors not understanding the condition.

Symptoms

  • Signs and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome include:
  • Continuous burning or throbbing pain, usually in your arm, leg, hand or foot
  • Sensitivity to touch or cold
  • Swelling of the painful area
  • Changes in skin temperature — alternating between sweaty and cold
  • Changes in skin color, ranging from white and mottled to red or blue
  • Changes in skin texture, which may become tender, thin or shiny in the affected area
  • Changes in hair and nail growth
  • Joint stiffness, swelling, and damage
  • Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness and loss (atrophy)
  • Decreased ability to move the affected body part

Symptoms may change over time and vary from person to person. Pain, swelling, redness, noticeable changes in temperature and hypersensitivity (particularly to cold and touch) usually occur first. I honestly thought during this period that the symptoms were the after-effects of the shingles I had in November of 2013.

Over time, the affected limb can become cold and pale. It may undergo skin and nail changes as well as muscle spasms and tighten. Once these changes occur, the condition is often irreversible. Unfortunately, this is the situation for myself. Sometimes the spasms are so bad I have been known to burst blood vessels in my eyes. I have also in the past, unfortunately, urinated and even defecated during one of these spasms.

Complex regional pain syndrome occasionally may spread from its source to elsewhere in your body, such as the opposite limb. I started out just on my right leg but very quickly it spread to my left. The result was almost sudden and I was left with neurological paralysis.

In some people, signs, and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome go away on their own. In others, signs and symptoms may persist for months to years. Treatment is likely to be most effective when started early in the course of the illness. My condition due to the time of delay in diagnoses and treatment will never go however with treatment and pain management I have learned several methods to control the pain.

One of those methods is massage and regular spots massage treatment at the point of most weakness. For me, this is my lower back, my legs, and my feet. My partner Charlott is a qualified massage therapist and her continual treatment every other day has played a massive part in my recent success of climbing Ben Nevis.

When to see a doctor

If you experience constant, severe pain that affects a limb and makes touching or moving that limb seem intolerable, see your doctor to determine the cause. It’s important to treat complex regional pain syndrome early.

Causes

The cause of complex regional pain syndrome isn’t completely understood. It’s thought to be caused by an injury to or an abnormality of the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS typically occurs as a result of a trauma or an injury.

Complex regional pain syndrome occurs in two types, with similar signs and symptoms, but different causes: I had shingles in November of 2013 and in January of 2014 my condition had deteriorated to the point of paralysis.

So what are the two types?

Type 1. Also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD), this type occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage the nerves in your affected limb. About 90 percent of people with complex regional pain syndrome have type 1.

Type 2. Once referred to as causalgia, this type has similar symptoms to type 1. But type 2 complex regional pain syndrome follows a distinct nerve injury.

I am Type 1 suffered after shingles and if you have ever had this illness you will understand the pain that it causes.

In many cases of complex regional pain, the syndrome occurs after a forceful trauma to an arm or a leg. This can include a crushing injury, fracture or amputation.

Other major and minor traumas — such as surgery, heart attacks, infections, and even sprained ankles — can also lead to complex regional pain syndrome.

It’s not well-understood why these injuries can trigger complex regional pain syndrome. Not everyone who has such an injury will go on to develop complex regional pain syndrome. It might be due to a dysfunctional interaction between your central and peripheral nervous systems and inappropriate inflammatory responses.

Complications

If complex regional pain syndrome isn’t diagnosed and treated early, the disease may progress to more-disabling signs and symptoms. These may include:

Tissue wasting (atrophy). Your skin, bones, and muscles may begin to deteriorate and weaken if you avoid or have trouble moving an arm or a leg because of pain or stiffness.

Muscle tightening (contracture). You also may experience tightening of your muscles. This may lead to a condition in which your hand and fingers or your foot and toes contract into a fixed position.

I have already started to experience some of these symptoms and in order to try and keep them at bay I keep myself as active as possible to that I am not left unable to walk or move my limbs. This will be my final outcome, I have come to terms with this. If I can prolong the symptoms for as long as I can then I prolong my value of life.

Prevention

These steps might help you reduce the risk of developing complex regional pain syndrome:

Taking vitamin C after a wrist fracture. Studies have shown that people who took a daily minimum dose of 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C after a wrist fracture had a lower risk of complex regional pain syndrome compared with those who didn’t take vitamin C.

Early mobilization after a stroke. Some research suggests that people who get out of bed and walk around soon after a stroke (early mobilization) lower their risk of complex regional pain syndrome.

If I wake up and I am not in pain! My first question is, Have I died?

If I wake up and I am not in pain! My first queastion is, Have I died?

Everest – But why?

It was always my dream to climb Everest. As a young boy, I used to pretend that I was out in the wilds going for the summit. When I first fell ill this dream seemed impossible. I missed walking the most, not going to the shops but being outside and walking in the hills, the point where I felt most alive.

I climbed several mountains in a wheelchair just so I could gain back something of my past passion. I had by this point accepted my current condition and the situation of my life. This was no who I was. And I promise you unless you have ever suffered from a condition like CRPS, unfortunately, you may never understand why this was so important to me.

I completed the challenge after challenge raising more than £250,000 for charities based in around Wales. I wanted to show the world that if you put your mind to it then nothing is out of your reach.

My Physiotherapist asked me at the first ever session that I needed a goal, “what is it?” she asked.

My Reply was simple “Everest”

She smiled and said, “let’s get you walking across the room first.”

My Physiotherapist asked me at the first ever session that I needed a goal, “what is it?” she asked. 

My Reply was simple “Everest”

She smiled and said, “lets get you walking across the room first.”

Crowd Funding my way to my greatest challenge yet.

If I am ever going to be realistic with myself, I fully understand that I will never be able to fund my climb to Everest Base Camp. And I also knew that with my condition I would need to take someone with me that understands my condition and can treat it as required. I would also need someone that could help relieve my muscles each day to get me through the pain. The answer was to ask Charlott if she would not only climb Everest with me but would she be willing to come as my masseuse and carer. She agreed and the idea of achieving my ultimate dream was once again a possibility. The next challenge was to find a guide willing to take me. Along came Andy from Evertrek who simply understood what I wanted to achieve and Dave, also part of Evertrek was completely game to why I was looking to do this. As someone who had suffered from Shingles, he had an idea of the level of pain I would have to deal with. As the challenge evolves day after day we both understood that my condition would be fighting me all the way. The idea of taking Charlott to assist in my muscular care was a massive positive and definitely a way of increasing my success rate.

The idea of crowdfunding the challenge came from a friend who once again understood fully my reasons behind the climb. I want to raise as much awareness for CRPS as possible and what the condition actually means to the sufferer. I know that in years to come and possibly not that far away I will be back in my wheelchair full time and once again Everest will be nothing more than a dream.

What will I achieve as well as the climb?

The aim is to show others that CRPS is a real condition, but you need to not give up and live for the moment. I will raise awareness for Burning Nights, the charity that works with CRPS sufferers like myself to help encourage them to set goals in their own lives.

My story will hopefully be shared so that others like myself can see that CRPS does not have to mean the end, even though as a sufferer all you think about is the pain. For many, they have not been able to deal with the pain. I was once in that dark place and searched endlessly for some kind of inspiration or drive to get me through the challenge of life that I was faced with.

For many, this may seem to be a holiday of a lifetime but for me, it will mean so much more! It’s about the ultimate challenge, making a memory I can hold onto later on in life and showing others that with help from those around you nothing is impossible. I would not expect everyone to understand this, or why I would want to put my body through this much torture, however, my life is basically a time bomb against the inevitable deterioration of my neurological system so, in reality, it is now or never.

If you would like to help you can do by simply Donating on our crowdfunding page.

Money raised will go towards Flights, insurances, the cost of licenses, the guides and Sherpas, food, and lodgings on the trek. Once all these areas are covered all remaining funds will be going to the charity Burning Nights.

 

Lest We Forget

Lest we forget

The ironic concept that for peace we first have to fight.

By Jamie McAnsh

As a former veteran, I understand the concept of loss.

However, I can not even begin to imagine the moment the troop landed on the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago.

We take for granted so much these days, we almost find reasons to moan and complain. It is the easiest thing in the world to find a reason not to be happy with another person, we can get frustrated if we choose to and we can get angry at any time we wish for the smallest of reason.

So I ask you during this time as we remember those who lost their lives during an ironic fight for peace that we look at those around us and offer empathy that they may be having a bad day, smile because you may be the only person to smile at that person today. Say hello to someone because that person may be lonely and you may be the only friendly voice they hear today. Be kind and remember that all those lives were lost for peace.

“Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are.” 
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart