Briton braced for 400 km charity ski challenge
After a diagnosis of a pre-leukemic bone marrow condition, Mike Evans, 53 was forced to retire from his teaching job and his many involvements in outdoor education. He was suffering from Myelodysplasia which slowly wears down the immune system leaving him more and more tired and able to achieve less and less as he tried to stay fit. Once Mike was retired with some well managed rest and a less stressful lifestyle, he was able to fight off the bugs and infections which had afflicted him. Because of his recent health issues coupled with family illness, Mike has given himself a new challenge for 2009: to raise £5,000 for two cancer charities by skiing 300-400 Kilometres or as far as possible in six days.
“DJO were the first to offer me real support for this trip,” Mike explains. “For me a big problem is the state of my knees! DonJoy braces have, for years, come with me on every trip giving that extra bit of stability after years of abuse climbing, playing sport and, of course, skiing. Since outlining my plans to DJO, they have been fantastic, offering guidance on which braces out of their huge range, would do the best job. As my knees have different problems, I need a different brace for each. When I went for my fitting, they couldn’t believe how old my braces were - they were completely worn out and technically very dated!
“My new braces stabilise the knees fantastically well giving the flexibility required to ski all day. On the right knee, I am using a DonJoy Playmaker, which supports lateral movement and limits flexion if required, and on the left I have a Hinged Tru-Pull patellofemoral sleeve to keep a troublesome patella in line. I’m particularly grateful as I will be able to ski more confidently and much harder with their support.”
Mike leaves on January 11th 2009 for France accompanied by his nephew (a ski instructor) who has been drafted in as a companion and reserve in case Mike’s health prevents him from completing the challenge.
Mike plans to stay on the slopes for as long as he can each day; he will have to watch his energy levels and choose runs which will clock up the most mileage as well as deliver the speed required to do so. “The problem for me is my tank is no longer full and I will have to be very aware of how I am feeling! Bug out too early and I blow it all! Our target of 300-400 km seems very daunting at the moment –as I am older, not as fit as I was and somewhat larger than in the photo, but I will certainly give it my best shot for Cancer Research and St Catherine’s Hospice.”
Paul Scott, the UK’s Marketing Manager said: “We are delighted to help Mike with his terrific challenge and we wish him every success. We look forward to seeing the photos on his return.” For more information, click through to his Just Giving site at www.justgiving.co.uk/skicancer.