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Joe Straw completed The Arc Triathlon on the 27 August 2018, Joe says: "I have no experience of swimming competitively so I realised I would find the triathlon difficult, I am not necessarily a strong swimmer and had to train hard in preparation for the triathlon. I was able to complete the 450m swim with no problems before heading onto the 25km bike ride in the Peak District. After the cycling was the 6.5km run I was confident I could manage a good finish because running was my strongest disciplines out. I got into a good rhythm and managed a strong finish. I was very happy to complete the fourth of my 5 challenges."

Joe has raised £860 so far for the British Thyroid Foundation.

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Rosie Roarty and her team Jason Brown, Louise Barnett, Siobhan Feasey, Toby Gowan and Andrew Duncan climbed the Yorkshire Three peaks on the 25 August 2018.

Rosie says: "I decided to raise money for the BTF after undergoing a total thyroidectomy in May 2018 to treat Graves disease. I was diagnosed with Graves and Thyroid Eye Disease in 2016, which felt like it came on rather suddenly, but looking back I think the symptoms had been present for nearly a year before I realised I was ill. Up until then, I didn’t really know what a thyroid was, or the symptoms that an over-active thyroid can produce. In the last two years, I’ve experienced so many difficult and upsetting side effects of the disease; including changes to the appearance of my eyes, hair loss and weight gain. After initially managing my Graves with Carbimazole, I relapsed earlier this year and opted for a thyroidectomy. The surgery was successful and I now feel so much better, so it felt like a good time to do something positive with my experience. I used the BTF website frequently during my illness, and wanted to show my appreciation by raising money for them, whilst also raising awareness of thyroid disorders and their symptoms. My friends and I completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in just less than 11 hours, 40km and 61,000 steps each, raising over £1,300 for the British Thyroid Foundation."

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Karen Stevens completed the Virgin Sport British 10K London Run on 15 July 2018. Karen says:

I took to the streets of London to run/walk/crawl the British 10K – and what an experience it was! I have never run 10K before so it was a new experience for me! I didn’t really know what to expect and even when I eventually got to the start, which did take a long time as there were about 12,000 runners; I saw the sign which said RUN and my first thought was HOW??? It’s true to say that I had done very little training for the event, I do like to think that most things are won or lost in the mind so with a bit of help from my legs, my mind would get me around before they opened the roads again to traffic! Anyway, off I set, at my own pace and I just kept going and kept going….

The day was super-hot, there was an event red warning on the whole day and people were advised not to go for a PB (Personal Best). But for me, whatever time I got would be my PB so it was all up for grabs!!  The atmosphere was brilliant, music all the way around, people cheering you on, mist sprays to keep you cool, the beautiful sites of London – it really was incredible and up there as one of my best days ever! I know I should get out more. But to know I was “running” for the BTF made me so proud, having suffered from thyroid related conditions for the last 8 years or so, to be taking on a challenge for the first time, the sun was shining, they gave me free water as I went around and I didn’t have to stop at any traffic lights – it was fantastic.

At the end was my wonderful husband, Tom and beautiful children, Harvey and Jessica, who cheered me over the line and quickly took my medal and bag of goodies….
I have so far raised £706.25 (with gift aid) and if anyone would still like to sponsor me, the site is still open, just go to MyDonate Page

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 James and Katherine Kneebone took part in the Virgin Sport British 10K London Run on 15 July 2018. Katherine says: We would like to thank the BTF for the great work it does in bringing awareness of thyroid disorders. Hashimotos (hyperthyroidism) receives little attention and it was great to do something to support our sister as well as spread awareness.

Katherine and James raised £170 for the BTF.

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Martha Jeffrey ran the Virgin Sport British 10K on 15 July 2018. Martha says:

I wanted to do it because my baby daughter Iris, now 9 months old (and crawling, opening cupboards and getting into all kinds of things she shouldn’t) has congenital hypothyroidism. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to get back into running after having my two children. I can’t say that I enjoyed the start of training - the knees were creaky, and my muscles couldn’t remember what to do. However, a few weeks before the race, while on holiday in the Algarve in Portugal, things were feeling much easier and I got to run along the cliff tops between Lagos and Praia da Luz with a warm breeze, and the sea on one side and wild flowers and fig trees on the other side - beautiful.

Race day was HOT, but running through central London’s closed streets among the buzz of 10,000 other runners, live bands and cheering crowds was so much fun. Our family friend, Arun Sudhaman, on holiday here for a month from Hong Kong, was also inspired to run for the BTF. So far I’ve raised £615 and more is pledged, and Arun has also raised £270 for the BTF.

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Alexandra McMullan and Reece Avery completed the Virgin Sport British 10K on 15 July 2018. Alexandra was delighted with her time of 1 hour 16 minutes and Reece achieved it in 1 hour 3 minutes.

Alexandra and Reece have raised £170 for the BTF.

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Simon Owenson ran in the Dundee Runners Adventure Marathon (DRAM) on 15 July 2018. Simon says:

I managed to complete the marathon but it was way harder than I anticipated. The temperature on the day was 25+ degrees and I ended up being dehydrated through my lack of experience and not drinking enough at each water station. I completed the marathon in 4 hours and 22 minutes. Although I aimed to finish it in under 4 hours, when I started to cramp up after 19 miles, I was just happy to finish the race.

Simon has raised £800 for the BTF.


 Joe Straw finally completed his skydive. Joe says,

After the disappointment of having to postpone the skydive from 2 June to 14 July 2018, I was very excited to finally complete my third challenge, the Skydive at Hibaldstow.

The member of the skydive team (who would be jumping out of the plane directly behind me) was great and explained what I should do during the skydive. A family friend Paul Seaman who was a former Royal Marines Commando also joined me.

I boarded the minibus and was taken along to the runway to the plane. It was really exciting and quite dramatic. The first person to dive was my cameraman and then myself with my instructor and then Paul.

From 15000 ft up the views were incredible. We could see the curvature of the earth as well as the ocean. The freefall continued for one minute and the most bizarre thing was that it didn’t feel like you were falling, more like flying! My instructor pulled the parachute and we began to float slowly towards the ground, landing safely. I would definitely do it again and recommend skydiving as an unforgettable experience and a great way to raise funds for the BTF.


Ian Straw, dad to Joe Straw set a challenge to the prisoners and staff of HMP & YOI Doncaster. Ian says, "On Friday 13 July 2018 prisoners and PE staff from HMP & YOI Doncaster took part in a charity bleep test challenge. We completed 10 bleep tests to level 10 with a two minute break in between each test. There were 6 staff and 30 prisoners that took part in this very difficult challenge". All proceeds will be going to the BTF.


Joe Straw climbed the Yorkshire Three Peaks on 23 June 2018. Joe says, "My Dad, three friends and myself completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The day started with a trudge up Pen-y-ghent which we managed in 45 minutes. The conditions were ideal and a nice breeze made it comfortable. Part of the challenge involves a very long walk to the start of the second peak, Whernside, which passes the Ribblehead Viaduct. The weather was at its warmest, as we reached the trig point of Whernside, however the breeze kept it pleasant. We climbed down Whernside only stopping for a drink, before heading for mountain number three, Ingleborough. This is the most challenging and steepest of all three mountains. After stopping for photographs at the trig point, we decided we would run the rest of the way into Horton in Ribblesdale. We completed the challenge and, to celebrate, had food in the Pen-y-ghent cafe before driving back to South Yorkshire. Although climbing the Yorkshire Three Peaks is a very hard endurance challenge, I would definitely recommend it to other who wish to raise funds for the BTF. I now move on my next challenge, the Skydive on the 14 July 2018, so please donate to help me reach it"

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Mark Leach completed one leg of the John o'Groats to Lands End bike ride. Mark says: 'Both myself and my mother suffer with hypothyroidism. I wanted to raise some awareness for our condition and the British Thyroid Foundation. A group of friends were riding from John O’Groats to Lands End, so I decided to join them for one leg of their journey. On what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far, we cycled from Bisley, near Stroud to Silverton Devon. Our 110 mile journey took us through four counties with approximately eight hours in the saddle. Temperatures were around 30 degrees in the afternoon and I needed nine litres of drinks throughout the journey to stay hydrated. This was my first cycle of over 100 miles in one day, friends and family are proud of my achievement'. Mark raised £85 for the BTF.

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Joe Plater set himself another 24 hours solid live streaming challenge in the game Elite Dangerous on the 9 June 2018. Joe who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October 2016 raised over £8,000 for the BTF.

 You can watch the stream on Joe's YouTube channel.




Julia Hudd took part in Wiltshire’s Big Pledge on I4 May 2018 and in the Rainbow Run on 2 June 2018. Julia says: I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in September 2017. The journey has been a stressful one involving various hospital appointments, blood tests and the continuing change in medication.

I decided to take on a variety of challenges this May/June in an attempt to raise awareness of thyroid disorders. It seems not many people have an understanding of how debilitating they can and I wanted to raise funds for the BTF who are a source of knowledge and information.

Julia has raised £145 for the BTF.

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Lucy Sloper took part in the Half Marathon to llchester on 26 May. Lucy says: I ran a half marathon to raise awareness and hopefully some sponsorship for The BTF. I chose this date to coincide with World Thyroid Day on the 25 May. I decided to get more in involved in raising awareness since I had my daughter in 2016. She was extremely poorly when she was born and at 4 days old she was re-admitted to hospital for phototherapy. During that time she had her normal heel prick test (newborn screening). Her results showed she had congenital hypothyroidism. We later found out she did not have a thyroid gland. I am also hypothyroid and wanted to make life as normal as possible for her. I explain to her the importance of taking her tablets. Also family members are asking to know more about her condition. Although I do run regularly I’ve never ran that far before. After I hit 10 miles it became a struggle for me. I am really pleased I managed to complete it though.

Lucy has raised £280 for the BTF.

Joe Straw, BTF trustee, raised over £600 with the first of his fundraising challenges - a 300 foot bungee jump at Tatton Park, Cheshire. Joe says, "I jumped after two other great people who were also bungee jumping for charity so it was good to chat to them and feel like we were all in the same boat, the theme was the same, we all said that we were saying to ourselves in our heads “what on earth are we doing” but then most of the unease left when we remembered the reasons we were jumping, mine was remembering the great work the BTF do for all people with thyroid disease."
Penelope Bailey took part in the Virtual Runner challenge. Karen says: My challenge began when I decided to do 40 different things in two years before I reach the big 40. I signed up to the Virtual Runner challenge to gain the RAF 100 medal. I decided to walk 100 miles (160.934km) throughout the month of April and set a goal of raising £100. I worked out that I needed to do at least 3.33 miles a day. Day one was Easter Sunday and too much chocolate! I only managed to do 0.62 of a mile. Not a good start, but by the end of week one, I was already ahead of the game, having reached 30 miles. As I headed towards the rest of the month I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, with the weather putting in a few challenges of its own (like the hottest day). Previously setting goals for my self, such as doing my first ever 10k and competing a 5k on the hottest day of the year, was all I needed to keep the miles ticking over. By week three, I was already at 86 miles. Little did I know at day one, I would finish four days early. I can’t thank everyone enough who supported me; the BTF for the fabulous t-shirt, the positive comments that kept me going, and your donations which has raised a fantastic £167.50 for the BTF. Having an underactive thyroid wasn’t going to stop me from achieving my goal, but at the start I didn’t think I would have the energy. So if your reading this and want to do a challenge go on and take a step out, I walked 100 Miles in a month! Good luck and thanks for reading.