First and foremost, please could you tell us about Hadley and the inspiration for Endurance Limits?
Hadley is a 14 year old, who developed epilepsy as a young boy, who has severe physical and learning disabilities as a consequence of epilepsy.
It all began on the 24th December 2007, when he was 20 months old. Hadley stood up to collect a toy, paused, then collapsed and had a massive seizure. Despite paramedics Hadley continued his seizure and was turning blue from lack of oxygen. Although they eventually stopped the seizure, unfortunately one seizure became two and quickly escalated to over twenty-five per day. By 17th January he was suffering from over fifty seizures a day.
The continued to escalate until he was having one hundred seizures a day. He was moved to Great Ormond Street and teams worked around the clock to gain control. They exhausted every possible test and the medication began poisoning Hadley and his parents were told to prepare for the very worst. Against all odds, Helen Cross found a way to save him with Ketogenic Dietary Therapy, but sadly lots of damage had already been done.
Today - Hadley eventually came home, but was mentally impaired and severely disabled. He is unable to walk, talk, or feed himself. His disability is all-encompassing and he still suffers from seizures, though much less regularly.
The inspiration for Endurance Limits
During the darkest period for Hadley, some tough discussions were being had. Eventually Darren was informed “it is not possible to keep suffering like this, the human body just can’t take this level of punishment for long. Hadley has reached his endurance limits”.
As Hadley was pulled back from the brink, Darren committed himself to raising money to payback the debt he felt he owed to the specialists and everyone who support Hadley. At that moment Endurance Limits was born and has been raising money to support the charities involved ever since. This latest mission is the latest in multiple ultra-endurance events Endurance Limits has attempted.
You’ll be taking on the challenge as a four, how did you all meet?
The heart of Endurance Limits is Darren Clawson and Arron Worbey, who have competed in multiple ultra-endurance events together. Simon Evans and DC knew each other when growing up and had talked about tackling this kind of challenge many years ago. Josh Tills has stepped in at the very last minute, due to an injury to Darren Baker – I’m not sure he’s fully aware of what he’s stepped in to!
However, this is a very different kind of challenge to anything we have done before - the distance, time it will take and the extreme conditions adding many variables. Whilst we can train and prepare for many different scenarios, we cannot control Mother Nature!
How much has the build-up to June been impacted by coronavirus? Have you had much of a chance to train as a team?
Massively! There is no other way to say it… Whilst we have all been able to train hard, it has not been possible to train on the water either solo or as a crew. This is less than ideal as we would have liked to spend as much time on the water as possible. Not just for the physical training, but understanding the sea and how our boat handles in various conditions. Even the practicalities of living together in such a confined space will take practice. So we have a big challenge ahead of us to squeeze in as much final prep as possible when we get to California in May.
We’re delighted that you’ll be wearing Coral Eyewear sunglasses on your challenge! What other items are definitely going with you on the boat?
Music – and plenty of it. Although maybe there will be some near mutinous moments when debating the playlist!
Moisturiser – with sea water, sun and wind there will need to be plenty of moisturising cream to sooth sore body parts.
Reminders of home – we will have some contact back home, but ultimately it is infrequent and a long time to be away from our families. I [SE] have a series of letters from friends and family to gradually open along the journey.
Chocolate – as a self-confessed chocoholic I [SE] will be surviving off a regular intake of chocolate milkshake to keep spirits up
As well as supporting St Elizabeth’s and Matthew’s Friends, you’re also raising funds for our charity partner Marine Conservation Society. What does the ocean mean to you?
Like many people we all have fond memories of growing up in and around the sea. One thing which has become abundantly clear is our seas are under immense pressure from over fishing and huge amounts of pollution. It’s impossible to go anywhere without seeing plastics or other rubbish washing up on our shores. If we want our children and the generations to follow to benefit from beautiful seas where nature flourishes and people thrive we must take responsibility and change how we interact with it.
How can the Coral Eyewear community support your challenge?
Please take a few minutes out to visit our website www.endurancelimits.net to read the story behind why we are doing this extreme challenge. From there you will be able to track our progress and support the causes we are trying raise money for.