On Thursday 12 December 2019 Headway North Cumbria member, Adrian Hope, undertook a three mile sponsored swim to raise funds for the branch.
A number of years ago Adrian was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour which has left with long term health implications, including short term memory loss. His life went into a downward spiral. Unable to work, his marriage broke down, he lost the family home and his friends disappeared because they didn’t know how to take him as a different person.
Following the removal of his brain tumour in December 2013 part of his rehabilitation was to swim so as to keep fit and aid his recovery. Adrian started by swimming just a few lengths but has built up over the years. He now swims every day, normally first thing in the morning. Adrian finds swimming therapeutic and uses the time in the water to help him remember and reflect on what he achieved the previous day and focus on his plans for the coming day. Swimming energises him for the day though he admits that fatigue catches up with him later on in the day.
Adrian is an active member of Headway North Cumbria. He regularly attends our Day Centre sessions and participates in many of the branch’s outings and events. He initially joined Headway North Cumbria after having read an article in the Cumberland News and felt that the charity may have something to offer him. Meeting up with other members who had very similar stories and were in a similar situation he came to realise that he was not alone. He accepted that he needed help and that he had to come to terms with the fact that he was no longer able to do what he had previously been able to do. Adrian says that he was reborn when he found help from Headway and describes participation in branch activities as the highlight of his week. In order to say thank you and give something back for the help received, Adrian decided to undertake a sponsored swim to raise funds to support the branch’s activities.
He has been training regularly at the Bannatyne Health Club and Spa, Carlisle which was also the venue for the sponsored swim itself. His efforts, as well of those of Helen Wilson (a fellow Headway North Cumbria member who has also recently undertaken her own sponsored swim) caught the attention of ITV Border who filmed them both for the regional news broadcast Lookaround. ITV Border have very kindly provided us with a copy of the full report which is available to view below:
Adrian’s story was also reported in the Cumberland News (9 August 2019), posted online and referenced on the News & Star / Cumberland News facebook page. The article can be accessed below:
Adrian would like to thank the Bannatyne Health Club and Spa, Carlisle for its support in his preparation for the event and for enabling him to undertake the swim itself.
Adrian had set himself a challenging target of raising £1,050 but, as of 13 December, had raised an amazing £1,444. His JustGiving page remains open for further donations.
Headway North Cumbria would like to join Adrian in thanking his family and friends for the support prior to and during the swim, and for all the very generous donations that have been made.
Well done Adrian. A magnificent effort, for which all at Headway North Cumbria are extremely grateful.