Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Steve’s Joss – 18 July

It was a privilege to join Steve Cliff on his “Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge” attempt. Walking up to Sty Head under a heavy sky and into a cold strong wind made us appreciate just what a performance Steve was putting in to be about 40 minutes ahead of his schedule when he arrived.


20150718_004_SC_Joss-11Best China tea service being readied by the Stretcher Box

20150718_005_SC_Joss-15Best China tea service being enjoyed by the Stretcher Box

20150718_012_SC_Joss-35Down Red Gully

20150718_015_SC_Joss-40Immediately after finishing with a sub 14 hour time Steve begins to enjoy the moment


20150718_020_SC_Joss-54A quiet word or two

20150718_028_SC_Joss-68Congratulations from Paddy Buckley


20150718_031_SC_Joss-79Joss, Steve & Wynn

Let me use Steve’s own words to explain a little background -

In July 2014, I was diagnosed a coeliac. This explained a long term decline in my fitness, over the previous 8 to 10 years. Within 3 months of being diagnosed and going on a gluten free diet, I started to return to full fitness.
In October 2014, I then started to experience other odd behaviours in my speech. After months of tests I was diagnosed with Progressive Bulbar Palsy, a form of MND in April 2015. Reading the blog pages on the MNDA web site, I realised that because MND is such a rare disorder (effecting 2 in 10,000), there is very little research into it. It was also clear from the blogs, there are many diagnosed with this illness that have little support from their friends and family; despite the awful prognosis.

What it has meant to me
The impact of a diagnosis of MND on oneself, friends and family cannot be explained. It forces decisions to be squared up to that one only ever expects to have to face in the darkest of moments. It draws closure to everything. The “end of the tunnel” is what one is not looking forward to. However, my strong family support, fantastic friends, and focussed approach to life meant that I very soon wanted to make a difference and to use time wisely.

My Plans
An immediate decision was made to use my running to raise funds for MNDA. Grant Lee, a good friend at work, organised “co-ordinated 5k runs” in London and New York.
I organised to run a Joss Naylor Challenge. Joss Naylor (MBE) set the course – a 48 mile run across 30 tops in the Lake District climbing 17k feet in a fixed time (15 hours for a 58 year old); the completion of the challenge must also include raising money for charity. The support Grant and I have received from friends and family has been nothing short of amazing for both of the events.

To date, in just over 3 weeks, we have raised more than £12,000 for MNDA and the figure is rising daily.
One can sense the depth of feeling just reading the kind words and generous gifts provided by donors.
When I used to think about “life’s bucket lists” in lighter moments of life, and on those rare occasions when the speeding train of life slowed, my first thoughts were of remote islands; sandy beaches; mountains and fast flowing streams. All of these thoughts continue, however, I now realise that all is nothing without friends and family.
The love of friends and family is a great solace and healer of wounds. My bucket list is greatly simplified.

Steve’s “Just Giving” page is here: https://www.justgiving.com/Steve-Cliff/

1 comment:

  1. Ian, thank you for posting this. I read through with great interest.

    There is so much in life we do not know about, haven't experienced.
    Well done to Steve and all who support him.

    You will see I have left a short message on that lovely deer photo on your earlier post, it is a lovely photo.

    All the best Jan.