January 22, 2016
Our fundraiser of the week is Ryan Meade, who's chosen to raise money for us while taking part in the ominously-titled Brutal Extreme Triathlon.
Ryan, now 25, was diagnosed with M.E. just before his 12th birthday and remained ill for many years before slowly getting back to health again.
"Suddenly, I was unable to do the things a normal 12 year old boy does – attending school, taking part in Judo and going out with my friends," he explained. "I had to drop out of school and attend a special education unit for just two hours a day. I ended up missing 18 months of full-time mainstream education. Even after my recovery, M.E. held me back and stopped me fulfilling my aspiration to join the Royal Marine Reserves due to the Navy not being willing to risk me having a relapse.
"At the start of my journey to recovery, I could only manage a 150-metre walk to the shops on my road. Gradually, I built this up and eventually started running after long months of slowly adding small amounts of distance. And so my love of running was born! Since then, I am proud to say I have completed three half-marathons, the Three Peaks Challenge in under 22 hours and one triathlon. Thirteen years ago, I would never have thought these achievements possible. Therefore, I feel perfectly qualified and ready for the challenge I have set myself this year.
"It took at least six months for my doctors to diagnose me which was incredibly frustrating. Therefore I am passionate about supporting Action for M.E. so they can continue their work to fund vital research."
The Brutal Extreme Triathlon is an Ironman distance triathlon that includes a 2.4-mile swim in a cold lake, a 116-mile bike ride, a 16-mile trail run around the lake and a 10-mile ascent and decent of Mount Snowdon, all of which must be completed within 21 hours.
You can support Ryan on his Virgin Money Giving page.