A cycle challenge in aid of arthritis research and children living with arthritis
Hello, my name is Phil Bowers. I have recently completed a demanding 2,000 mile cycle ride from Bath to Rome to inspire young people who suffer from all kinds of arthritis. I have lived with with the impact of septic arthritis in my right hip since birth and so this is a tough chalIenge - I can only pedal my bike while standing up and I am rarely free from pain. Fortunately I can sit on the saddle while freewheeling! I began my trip in Bath on my 31st birthday on 24 June 2017 and reached Rome in time for World Arthritis Day on 12 October 2017.
I rode to raise funds and awareness for Arthritis Research UK and Children's Chronic Arthritis Association (CCAA). Both charities were very supportive and excited by the ride I undertook. I was supported by members of my family on route and they followed me with a support vehicle. All of the expenses involved in making the trip were met by me and my family: 100% of the money I raise goes directly to the two charities.
Donate to the charities via Virgin Money
Background: Every year in the UK an estimated 9,000 youngsters under 16 will develop some form of arthritis. (Source: Arthritis Research UK) Around half will suffer from a rheumatic disorder and others from painful inflammatory arthritis. Coping with arthritis is a challenge for all ages, especially for younger people who contend with not only the daily pain but the issues they will face at school, work and in future relationships.
My story: I developed septic arthritis just after birth which began in my finger. This invasive infection moved to my hip and knee and caused long-term damage to my joints. I have grown up with a limp, restrictions to movement and daily pain. I have undergone surgery to try and improve the function and mobility of my hip but with limited success. However these difficulties have not stopped me from trying to do all the things that I love. I hope a challenge like this will give confidence to other young people and encourage them to pursue their dreams.
From my own experience, people are often surprised to learn that I suffered from septic arthritis from such a young age. That is why I am keen to raise awareness of this condition and other forms of arthritis, to help the large numbers of young people who will need support throughout their lives.
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- Dad’s Farewell Blog November 12, 2017
- Award Winner’s Speech October 23, 2017
- Days 116-117 & days 118-120: Venice & Strasbourg and Dover October 22, 2017
- Days 113-115: Rome October 16, 2017
- Days 111 & 112: Prima Porta to Camping Roma & Camping Roma to Roma Centro. October 16, 2017
- Tim’s Q&A debrief October 15, 2017
- Days 109 & 110: Lake Bracciano rest day and Lake Bracciano to Prima Porta October 10, 2017
- Brandi’s Guest Blog: Day 108- Sutri to Lake Briacciano October 8, 2017
- Days 106 & 107: Feniglia to Tarquinia & Tarquinia to Sutri October 7, 2017
- Day 105: Albinia to Feniglia October 5, 2017
- Dad’s Guest Blog: Day 104: Castiglione della Pescaia to Albinia October 4, 2017
- Days 102 & 103: Tocchi National Park to Castiglione della Pescaia & Grosetto rest day October 3, 2017
- Days 100 & 101: Siena rest day & Siena to Tocchi National Park October 1, 2017
- Tim’s Guest Blog: Day 99- Chianti to Siena September 29, 2017
- Day 98: Florence to Chianti September 28, 2017
- Days 96 & 97: Florence rest days September 27, 2017
- Day 95: Vitolini to Florence September 25, 2017
- Days 93 & 94: Montecatini rest day & Montecatini to Vitolini September 24, 2017
- Day 91 & 92: Pisa rest day & Pisa to Montecatini Terme September 22, 2017
- Dad’s Guest Blog: Day 90: Viareggio to Pisa September 20, 2017