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Beat The Beast Challenge

Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee Fundraising for the Disasters Emergency Committee

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As Simba once said in the Lion King, we should ‘learn to laugh in the face of fear’.

Smiles Nos. 253 - 254 John And Krysia From Trinity Edinburgh
Smiles Nos. 253 - 254 John And Krysia From Trinity Edinburgh

Over the last two weeks since my last post I have walked 50.55 miles ascending 3,159.68 feet, cycled 9.34 miles ascending 629.7 feet, while also collecting 11 bags, 17.6 kgs of litter, cooking 5 delicious and nutritionally dense meals, capturing 13 smiles and 2 sponsors and raising £121 for the Disasters Emergency Committee.

All the while I did this fearful of another neurological wobble with the unpleasantness that comes with them. Yet I refused to sit in the house and wait and can report that over this last two weeks I have had no wobbles at all, none. I can get extremely tired at times but apart from struggling to form words and string them together, tired is just tired and I can function to a degree through it if I am still standing.

To make this last fortnight even better I attended a review of my ear surgery and can report that the surgeon is delighted with my healing. Marvellous.
And to make matters even better than that, I was finally allowed to bring my children in from Glasgow and Stirling to meet with Allie and I for East-mas in the Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. It was a damp day and chilly but it didn’t pour with rain and it wasn’t freezing, so we had a wonderful time catching up after so very long not being able to see each other face to face. We hadn’t

Smiles Nos. 257 - 259 Alan, Alan And Richard From Newhaven And Colinton Edinburgh
Smiles Nos. 257 - 259 Alan, Alan And Richard From Newhaven And Colinton Edinburgh

been able to share Christmas or Easter together so we had East-mas. Allie made turkey and cranberry rolls and for the roast vegetables we had vegetable crisps and for pudding Allie’s freshly made mince pies served with mini creme eggs. It was brilliant and not only that but Father Christmas came too. We still had their stockings to give them and, being their father, I couldn’t resist embarrassing them by putting on my best Father Christmas voice to exclaim, ‘HoHoHo, Meeeerry Christmas’ nice and loudly as I pulled out two bright red stockings from my rucksack. They hid their faces but smiled too and the stockings were a hit. It was so good to spend time with them both and it was a shame to have to say goodbye but, as we climb back out of COVID, there will be many more opportunities to get together again.

Today saw me conduct a smile walk in which I captured 10 smiles, telling my story three times in the process, after which I was exhausted and retreated back home. I managed to do some work on this post for two twenty-minute sessions before the fog started to drift in again and encourage me to go for another short walk. Two miles later and on the home straight I bumped into three gentlemen from Sudan who were celebrating Eid this very day. They gave me their smiles and I was able to give them blessings for Eid with ‘Eid Mubarak’ as I departed once again for home with my words just starting to struggle.

Smiles Nos. 263 - 265 Anas, Ali And Hasan Originally From Sudan Now Happy In Edinburgh
Smiles Nos. 263 - 265 Anas, Ali And Hasan Originally From Sudan Now Happy In Edinburgh

So with perseverance and an understanding of my limitations bringing balance into my everyday life, I still manage to achieve a considerable amount without tipping myself into a neurological wobble or SMART attack, and while not laughing in the face of fear, I am certainly refusing to give in to fear of my dysfunction and in so doing I am finding light with total strangers in the process. I continue to grow in strength day by day.

Please help me to spread a little light into the lives of those who struggle by sending me a photo of your smile that I can publish, with the other 265 smiles so far captured, on the smileometer on my website, and via the Challenge social media channels of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Emailing it to me would be best on archie@beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk or message it to me on Messenger or Instagram.

Furthermore I continue to look for sponsorship. Many have suggested that I would find life more comfortable if I was to take a chill pill and just focus on enjoying life. Yet I keep fighting and keep writing despite my neurological challenges, purely and simply to save lives; mine, and those who are starving to death as I write: men, women and children trapped in their millions in the triple whammy of COVID, warfare and climate change related natural disaster around the world in the Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar, Nepal and India.

Smiles Nos. 260 - 262 Lesley, Susan And Anne From Newhaven And Colinton
Smiles Nos. 260 - 262 Lesley, Susan And Anne From Newhaven And Colinton
Smiles Nos. 255 - 256 Jane And Geoff From Blackhall Edinburgh
Smiles Nos. 255 - 256 Jane And Geoff From Blackhall Edinburgh

There are 64,000,000 active current accounts in the UK. My challenge is to convince just 1% of those account holders to challenge me to keep fighting to achieve success with just £1 per month. If I succeed I could raise over £640,000 a month with which to help save and rebuild the lives of those most in need through the Disasters Emergency Committee. With 72 sponsors so far obtained I am 0.01% of the way towards my target. It is easy to doubt that I will ever get there, but I refuse to, so please sponsor me, I guarantee, that with the generosity of:

  • The Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Webb and Wallace Accountants in Doune.
  • MHCreations in Glasgow.
  • Key Facilities Management in Doune.

That every single penny raised goes to save and rebuild lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee. Not a single penny is lost to costs.

Every penny raised encourages me to keep fighting to prevent my brain tumour from returning as predicted, and to retrain and strengthen my brain, using the mediums of Golf, Music, Navigating over the Hills, Drama, Dance, Juggling, Litter Picking and Writing, with becoming neurologically and cognitively strong enough to one day be able to sustain myself in some form of future employment being my goal while saving lives through the DEC on the way.

Please sponsor me to make me happy.
After all, happiness is the key to success

Thank you, Keep safe, keep being brilliant.

Keeeeeeeeeeeep smiling!

Yours aye with love and gratitude,

Archie xx

Heather And James With Us For Easter Mass
Heather And James With Us For Easter Mass