For Meningitis Now
Words: Adrian Beckett
Picture: Helen Rowan Photography
In 2012 at 27 years old, I had a headache, one I couldn't shake. It lasted a couple of days, then three and four. The GP put it down to a pressure headache. After a week, it was almost unbearable, and early one morning the whole right side of my body dropped, unable to move. I was unable to speak or make any sense and I developed a severe painful sensitivity to light. The pain in my head was debilitating.
My now wife, Mel called an ambulance and I was rushed into resus. I had a form of Viral Meningitis which had led to encephalitis, swelling of my brain. I was very quickly administered an anti-viral drug, without which, I would have almost certainly died.
There were no guarantees I would regain full strength in my right side or complete speech. Fortunately, I have been extremely lucky, my wife acted quickly and the hospital administered the right vaccine. The weeks and months following I was able to make an almost full recovery. I personally knew someone who had exactly the same illness and did not make it. I am a very lucky survivor.
Starting at 10pm on Fri 2 August, and if all goes well, will finish around 4pm on Sat 3, I will be giving something back by EVERESTING.
In simple terms. ‘Everesting' is cycling the total ascent of Mount Everest (8,848 metres / 29,029 feet) on one hill repeatedly in one continuous activity until complete’
It's a highly ambitious physical and mental challenge, that will take around 16 to 17 hours, covering around 170 miles and 50 'reps' on the same 1.75-mile hill… that hill being Loads Road, Holymoorside.
Training began in October 2018, out on the hill at 3:30am in the dark, cold and rain. If I can ride it freezing and wet in October then August should be easy right?
I’ve lost 10kg in 8 months, lighter is definitely best for this, and my cycling threshold power is at my highest ever level, thanks in part go to the team at S40 Personal Training, Chesterfield. Plus, doing some 'silly' sessions on the hill itself, the longest to date being 20 'reps', covering 70+ miles and 13,000 feet of climbing.
I’m lucky to have the ability to ride a bike at all and feel compelled to do something. I hope to inspire others to find their 'challenge', commit and go for it, no matter the outcome.
MENINGITIS NOW will be the beneficiaries of my challenge, with the funds raised going to the charity that’s leading research, support and awareness of this awful illness.
If you would like to donate please visit: