CSF Leak sufferer walks 4 miles to raise awareness for her condition
I had my first spinal CSF leak in 2012 and a second in 2015. During my first leak I was diagnosed really quickly but not offered any treatment and struggled to find good quality information about the condition, treatment options and availability, and specialists who could help me manage the symptoms. I'm now passionate that everyone in the UK should be able to access good quality, accurate, information on the condition, get effective diagnostic scans, management from a knowledgeable Clinician and rapid access to effective treatment. The CSF leak association are doing great work towards these goals and I hope the funds I have raised make a positive contribution to this.
I chose to do a 4 mile sponsored walk at a local nature reserve - Stanwick Lakes. I put on quite a bit of weight and lost a lot of fitness during my recent leak so the walk gave me motivation to try and improve these as well as raising money. The reserve is beautiful any time of year and the scenery and wildlife always put a smile on my face. It's usually one of the first places I try and visit after I've been stuck at home leaking and I feel blessed to have such a scenic place so close to where I live.
To prepare, I've gradually built up the distance I can walk over the last 3 or 4 months. I did quite a bit of training during the Christmas holidays when I had some spare time away from work.
I did the walk alone. The lakes are very scenic with lots of wildlife. It is quite exposed but I love feeling the power of the elements. The highlights were all the friendly people who I met and said hello to, and the hot mug of tea with a fantastic view in the visitor centre at the end. The low point was the drizzle as I drove over there but the rain stayed away. The walk was also a chance to reflect on how far I've come in my recovery.
My tips for fundraising… make it personal and a bit of a challenge for you, it doesn't need to be a marathon! You could be sponsored to read that book you've always meant to or do some creative writing. Consider holding a coffee and cake morning with a few friends at home. I love anything crafty and did some charity sewing when I was stuck at home. Tell all your generous friends and family!
Jenny's fundraising page remains open if you would like to pledge your support -