Is it really that time of year again already? Well, hell yeah! It’s time for the Great Oggie Run to dust off its daps and start to spring into action.
For those who are new to the idea, some background. Oggie is a running legend. He started blogging on here, as did many, in 2013 in the run up to the London Marathon. That was his first. Boy, did he take to it like a duck to water. Since then? Well, since then the records have tumbled. Last year he ran and he ran and he ran. Unbelievably, by the end of 2015, he was in the 100 Marathon Club. Not only is he an amazing runner, he is one of the most genuine blokes you could hope to meet.
About the run
In 2013, Oggie came up with the idea of us all running on one day. We ran where we could, and we ran as far as we felt we could. Location? Not important. Distance? Not important. What was important was that we all ran on the same day, and, through the Realbuzz bonds that unite, we ran together for a common cause.
We donate what we can to the cause, both in terms of miles and in terms of money. No distance or amount is too small. The cause is all.
About the cause
What cause? Well, the cause has always been one that means something to a buzzer. And because it means something to one, it means something to all. Because that’s what we’re like on this site; one and all. One and all.
In 2013, we ran for NASS. Gerry (Berlin Bolt) and Kathy (KickASKat) both have ankylosing spondylitis, and we ran to raise awareness of what is a debilitating condition. In 2014, we ran for Louie’s Helping Hands, raising money for Tania’s (TaniaT) godson.
This year? Well, this year we are raising money for Cardiomyopathy. Gaelle Bryant is the buzzer who has nominated this charity. There is no way that I could add anything to her story, and so below (About Duncan), I produce it word for word as she sent it to me.
About the date
We are going to run on the weekend of August 29/30th this year. Gaelle will be participating in the London2Cambridge 100k challenge that weekend, as part of a year of fundraising.
So, please put it in your diaries now, and make sure the daps are laced up tight! Again, remember the rule – there is no rule! You run/walk/cycle where you can, as far as you can.
Gaelle is aiming to raise £3000 for the charity this year. Buzzers around the country can help her do that. There is no entry fee, there is no recommended amount. Please feel free to give what you can.
The website is https://www.justgiving.com/GaelleSophie/
About the colour
Red! Red is the colour of Cardiomyopathy, so please wear as much red as you can. Take a photo, and then we’ll upload them to our Facebook page.
These are Gaelle’s words…
“Duncan and I met in 1995 when I did my year out at SmithKline Beecham as part of my degree. He was a very keen scientist working for the pharmaceutical giant GSK. He was a tall, very intelligent but very modest man who had lots of interests; one could ask him anything to do with military aeroplanes and he knew the answer. He loved astronomy too and was top class at pub quizzes. He was moderately fit who enjoyed playing 5 a side football and long walks.
In the spring of 2002, we were expecting our first child and his health started to deteriorate; one day he told me he was having difficulties climbing the flight of stairs at work as he was so breathless… As our first child was due imminently, he decided to wait until after the birth to go and see a doctor… Hugo was born in June 02 and two days later Duncan really felt unwell and was rushed to hospital. He was first diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia and then with cardiomyopathy, a weakness of the heart. He was fitted with an internal pace-maker defibrillator and we were told his life was not in danger. He took Duncan a few months to get used to his new medications and to accept his condition. Duncan who used to be a very lively person became quiet and withdrawn but slowly he was allowed back to work and was living a normal life again but he really missed his own independence. As he had a defibrillator fitted, he was not allowed to drive until doctors could prove the defibrillator hadn’t kick in for two years… This was very very difficult for Duncan as he had to rely on me 100%. He also found it very hard not to be able to look after his own son as he found it stressful. I remember one day I asked him to give Hugo his bath and he bursted into tears; he so wanted to do it but felt he couldn’t… After we talked about it, he told me he wanted to play with Hugo but he couldn’t cope with the lifting and bathing so we came to a solution; I left him alone (I was just outside the bathroom though just in case) with Hugo playing together in the bath and i was dealing with all the lifting changing etc. I know this was really really hard for Duncan as he so wanted to help! The first year was a little hit and miss; some days Duncan felt very good, some days he felt very low but being allowed to go back to work (GSK were very good and allowed him to go back as a manager without having people responsibilities)… Once the right combination of medications were found, Duncan was living a normal life (apart from being able to drive and doing lots of activities) and life settled. By mid 2004, i was expecting our second child and Duncan was back at work full time and all was well. Unfortunately, this was not to last; on January 26th, 2005 he collapsed at work and life was never the same again. Despite receiving immediate CPR, and despite his internal defibrillator, his heart was in defibrillation for too long and his brain became deprived of oxygen for too long… He was in an induced coma for 8 weeks and never did he recover; he did wake up but was left in a vegetative state… His internal defibrillator had “kicked “ him that day but its power wasn’t strong enough to get Duncan’s heart rhythm back to normal. The following few months were awful; I had to fight for his care as no one was looking after him properly in hospital; he needed a special care home… It took me weeks to get things moving and eventually on April 28th 2005, I received a phone call informing me Duncan had been transferred to a specialist home for people like him in Sawbridgeworth, not far from where we used to live. I remember that day very well as I was in labour when they called. I gave birth to Paul on that same day, at home so Hugo didn’t have both his parents in hospital… The following 3 months were very very stressful as Duncan’s health deteriorated; his heart couldn’t cope and eventually all his other organs gave up… On August 26th 2005, exactly 6 months after he collapsed, Duncan passed away and it was such a relief… It is sad to say but we (his and my family and I) were relieved to see him gone as it wasn’t a life… Seeing such a powerful strong tall man become such a powerless person in a matter of a few months was awful. All his muscles were giving up and he had to wear metal bars to stretch him out as his body only wanted to curl up…
It is very sad as he was such a loved, clever and well respected person both at work and outside work… He left behind two beautiful sons who might well be carrying this horrible disease too. At the present time, neither of the boys show any sign of a poor heart so no test has been carried out but we (both of them and I) know that they will need to be tested once they are fully grown men…
The boys have kept me going; they are the reason why I have stayed strong and positive… I have always been very open with them and they know exactly what happened. In January 2008, we planted two trees in Hatfield forest (as it was closed to where we used to live) to remember Duncan and his ashes lay there too… I wanted the boys to have a place to go to to remember their dad…and two living trees in the forest where we used to spend a huge amount of our time was much better than a grave somewhere… For the boys, they are “daddy Duncan’s trees” and they love going back and visiting a few times a year. Both trees (an oak and a maple) used to be a 10 cm stick and now are growing amazingly well.
All this has made who I am today and I will never forget this…”
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