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Beat The Beast Challenge

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

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Smiles No's 466-469: Keith, Kerry, Gary And Susanne From Musselburgh
Smiles No's 466-469: Keith, Kerry, Gary And Susanne From Musselburgh
Smile No. 462 Karen From Melrose
Smile No. 462 Karen From Melrose

Over the 49 days since my last post I have been busy following my balanced daily lifestyle, while training Cocoa for her tests towards becoming my assistance/alert dog, while trying to retrain and strengthen my brain through learning to play golf, learning to play the pipe organ and the writing of my book. Since the last post I have two bits of great news before I tell you about the best news ever.

Firstly I have managed to raise more than £20,000 with which to save and rebuild lives for the Disasters Emergency Committee. Thank you so very much to all who sponsor me. As promised every single penny raised goes to save and rebuild lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee. The current total raised stands at £20,345.60. Thank you.

Smiles Nos. 464-465 Matt And Kirsty From Glasgow
Smiles Nos. 464-465 Matt And Kirsty From Glasgow

Secondly, Allie spoiled me by taking me to the Scottish Golf Open that was being played on the Renaissance Course at Archerfield, just up the road from us here in North Berwick. It was a delight to go to my first golf event at which 14 of the top 15 players in the world were playing. A delight to see what a golf shot should look like with the iron or the driver. But the best bit of the Open was to encourage me in my attempts to learn to play. I would get horribly downhearted by my continuing inability to hit the ball straight each time, to putt the ball into the hole, or to even hit the ball each time I swing. Yet on watching the professionals fluff shots and miss putts I realised that I was setting the standards for myself far too high. That I should stop rating my performance over the day but instead focus on enjoying the environment and the opportunity to play. That a missed shot isn’t a disastrous day. Just a poor shot. Suddenly I realised that it was entirely possible that, once I can sustain myself over eighteen holes, I could enter competitions at the club without embarrassing myself entirely, that I could even be competitive for a finishing position that wasn’t last.

But the most encouraging news, the best news ever, came during my oncology clinic after the most recent MRI. The good news is that there remains no sign of the tumour regressing at this stage. But the brilliant news is that my brain has finally stopped shrinking.

The shrinking was caused by the treatment, and I was warned of the potential of it happening and the ensuing brain damage and neurological dysfunctions it would cause when I was originally offered my treatment on a European drug trial. I agreed to the treatment because it was hoped that it might buy me an additional three years with my children. Three years for them to grow in age and experience before my passing. Clearly I didn’t die as was expected. I remain very much alive nearly nine years later but had for the entirety of those nine years been trying to keep my ship (my brain) afloat and productive by trying to patch over the leaks (neurological dysfunctions) as they appeared. Over time these leaks would develop and, as fast as I could try to stop the water from flooding in, they would develop into a diagnosis of yet another neurological dysfunction like SMART syndrome or the return of epilepsy in another form. It felt as if life was a never-ending exercise in damage control.

Now however, the brain has stopped shrinking. Surely now, with intense rebuilding and strengthening of the hull, I can set sail towards a future of productiveness.
The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelieus once wrote “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

Smile No. 463 Liz From North Berwick
Smile No. 463 Liz From North Berwick
Smile No. 473 Eve From North Berwick
Smile No. 473 Eve From North Berwick

So with that in mind I continue my focus on learning to play golf, learning to play the pipe organ, and writing my book, as vehicles on which to retrain and strengthen my brain enough to be able to chair the not-for-profit I so wish to deliver in order to save and rebuild the lives of our disadvantaged and disengaged young people trapped in the cycle of reoffending. Now that I have a stable and watertight ship, I should be able to make some serious headway. It will be a long voyage but I will get there. Marvellous.

On this daily battle back to fitness I continue to try to save and rebuild lives through the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). They have come to prominence for all the good works done in the Ukraine, but we must not forget the millions, whose lives the DEC continues to save and rebuild, in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

So far I have managed to raise £20,345.60 for the DEC with every single penny raised - thanks to the generosity of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Webb and Wallace Accountants in Doune, MHCreations in Glasgow and Key facilities Management in Doune - going to save and rebuild lives through the DEC.

This money saves lives and gives me the resolve to make more of mine. Please sponsor me to keep fighting with just £1 per month at www.beatthebeastchallenge.co.uk/sponsor-archie . I guarantee that every single penny raised gives me the strength to keep fighting and goes to save and rebuild lives through the DEC. Not a single penny is lost to costs.

Thank you
Keep safe.

Please keep me fighting.

Smile No. 470 Will From North Berwick
Smile No. 470 Will From North Berwick

Keep being brilliant.

Keeeeeeeeeeeep smiling
Yours aye with love and gratitude
Archie

Smiles No.s 471-472 Cousins Maggie From North Berwick And Heather From Cullen Near Elgin
Smiles No.s 471-472 Cousins Maggie From North Berwick And Heather From Cullen Near Elgin
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