A big thank you to Capita Plusnet Team who recently donated £1000 to BTF. The team's year long fundraising efforts were inspired by Operations Manager, Sue Kisby, who was diagnosed and successfully treated for Thyroid Cancer in February 2018. To celebrate Sue's first year of being cancer free, Cheryl McMullan from the BTF and Mark Lansdown, Consultant Endocrine Surgeon went along to receive the cheque.
The Cambridge Half Marathon was held on 3 March 2019. There were ten thousand runners and many of them were raising money for charity. Amongst them two runners from Bishops Stortford Running Club, who ran for the British Thyroid Foundation. Despite the drizzle both Peijie Zhu and Serena Beresford thoroughly enjoyed the flat and scenic course which took them past many of the Cambridge University Colleges and historical landmarks. Peijie and Serena Beresford raises £180 for the BTF.
The atmosphere and supportive crowds helped to urge all the runners on through the 13.1 mile course. Both highly recommend this run and would encourage anyone to give it a go…with training of course!
Vivian held a ‘Bake Off’ fundraising event at work with lots of colleagues taking part to raise £313.26 for the BTF.
Vivian explains: I arranged a bake off named ‘The Great CATish Bake Off’ (Control Account Team). We chose the BTF because my step daughter was born without a thyroid and was prescribed thyroxin since being only a few days old. She has also needed regular blood tests and hospital check-ups.
I have organised fundraisers at work for the last two years, in order to raise awareness of the BTF and the importance of the heel prick test in new-borns, I hope to continue to raise awareness by making the bake off an annual event.
Can't Stop Running for the Hills Team - Claire & Liz Millward, Jo House, Masha Shaverneva, Michaela Hills and Susan Crummey took part in a number of challenges throughout 2018.
The team raised funds for both the BTF and Support Dogs in memory of a special lady, Melissa Hills. Between them they took part in a triathlon, a sprint triathlon, the Spartan Super (obstacle race), the Spartan Sprint, the Spartan Beast (a 12-mile obstacle race) as well as hold a bake sale, climbed Ben Nevis and completed the National Three Peaks Challenge.
Jamie Hadwin completed the Bournemouth Marathon on 7 October 2018. Jamie says: I finished the Bournemouth marathon. It was so tough. But I'm so glad I did it as raising money for the BTF means a lot to me.
Jamie has raised £175 for the BTF.
Mark Eggington took part in the Yorkshire Marathon on 14 October 2018. Mark says: At the tender age of 50 I’ve only gone and done it - official time 3:59:30 - under 4 hours was my target so I didn’t care how close it was I was under! The weather was not very hospitable for spectators, volunteers or runners (wet and cold) however the support was fantastic all the way round – I wouldn’t have achieved that time without all the support.
Talking of support the BTF needs as much support as we can give it! That’s why I am really pleased with not only raising nearly £620 (not including Gift Aid!) but also raising awareness of a common, but not very well know, condition.
The beer is alcohol free by the way, in the ‘after’ photo!
John Whittington ran in the Yorkshire Marathon on 14 October 2018. John says: I ran the Yorkshire Marathon to raise money for the BTF. I don't class myself a runner, well probably not until today anyway. Being an asthmatic with an underactive thyroid and high blood pressure, running never really appealed to me.
A couple of months ago, my dentist announced that that he was running the Yorkshire Marathon to raise money for a cancer hospice, maybe it was just a knee jerk reaction, but running a marathon to raise money for a charity seemed that logical next goal, after running in my local ‘parkrun’ since 2016. The thyroid is not something that often gets thought about and many people are not sure what it does and the dark places it can take you to, when it's not working correctly.
I completed the marathon in a time of 4:11:16, far exceeding any mental goal. Although it rained the whole run and I have a black blister on the underside of my foot 35mm long, I'm happy!
John has raised £571 for the BTF.
Joe Straw completed his final challenge the Mam Tor Marathon on 13 October 2018.
Joe says: I completed the run from Dore, on the edge of Sheffield, to Mam Tor, a hill in the Peak District. I started off strongly and despite it being a very windy day I managed to get to the finish without any difficulties. It was a great way to finish off the last of my five my fundraising events. I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has supported me. It wouldn’t have been achievable without all the support I received throughout!
The BTF would like to say a massive thank you to Joe for all his fundraising efforts throughout the year and for raising £1032 for the BTF.
Niamh and Aoife Mumby raised £279 from a bake sale in September 2018.
Niamh says: We set the event up on the side of the towpath at Stanley Ferry. Our wonderful friends and family donated cakes and money towards the charity. We also had a tombola that went down a treat. We decided to do this in honour of our baby sister Saoirse, aged two, who was diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism, which means she was born with no thyroid. Thank you to everyone who helped and all the team at the British Thyroid Foundation.
Gemma Sheppard completed the Great East Run on16 September 2018
Gemma says: I've always wanted to try running and thought the half marathon would be a good choice as I'm not a runner so it would give me a new challenge to focus on. I trained three times a week for about four months. I supported the BTF because I have hypothyroidism, which I think of as such an unheard illness so I wanted to raise awareness. On a personal side, my children see when I'm not feeling well, so I ran this for my children to show them that if you put your mind to something and work hard you can ahieve.
Gemma has raised £595 for the BTF.
Andrea Robinson, Angela Court-Johnston and daughter Esme completed the Great North Run, the biggest half marathon in the UK.
Angela who is a member of the BTF team at head office ran the race with her daughter Esme and friend Andrea. Angela says: We felt very privileged for our first running race, to have participated in the GNR. It was an amazing carnival atmosphere and surrounded all of the way by crowds of people, full of good will, kindness and generosity. Even better, we raised money and awareness for a good cause.
Angela, Esme and Andrea have raised £1,320 for the BTF.
Marcia Melton, who was diagnosed with Greaves’ disease took part in the Great North Run on 9 September 2018. Marcia says: I competed the Great North Run! And did it in 2:19:43, only 5 minutes slower than when I did it 10 years ago. It was tough and took a lot more determination to keep up a steady pace this time. But with the Tyne Bridge, the Red Arrows, the musicians, and the crowds lining the route, it was a great experience and I'm so glad I achieved it.
I ran for the BTF as I have used their resources to support me during my own experience of Graves’ disease. Though it's been a long journey, the doctors said all would come well, and doing this run has taken me another step (or 26000)! forward.
Marcia has raised £320 for the BTF
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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"