Colin Freeman is a stroke survivor. He is paralysed on the left half of his body. And he is taking on challenge after challenge, alongside his carer Stuart, to fundraise for the hospice which took care of Colin’s brother in law. We asked Colin more about what inspired him to take on such a feat after experiencing something so debilitating.
To raise money for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Colin has sailed a Regatta, will swim one mile (across 2 sessions) and as much more as he can – aided by Stuart, his carer, who is also taking on challenges for this cause including completing the Pilgrims Way Marathon and will be taking on a 35 mile ultra marathon!
Colin tells us “Choosing the challenges was based on what could be achieved by regular practise and working hard to improve my motivation and stamina”. During the summer season, Colin sails every week and also tries to swim for 30 minutes every week of the year. He adds “These challenges are designed to be difficult and with regular practise and determination I hope achievable.”
Colin tells us that he was never a very strong swimmer but says that after his illness, water became his friend.
“I started off learning how to float, progressed to swimming widths, then lengths and I am now able to move independently in water. I attend Hydrotherapy and Swimability which has helped improved both my fitness and overall health. It is so good to be out of my wheelchair and with assistance, I am able to move and walk with the support of the water.”
Colin also tells us how hard he had to work on the sailing, having never sailed before the major stroke which left him partially paralysed. He adds “Since joining Sailability I have worked really hard to overcome concentration problems as well as the physical disabilities.”
Colin chose Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice who, he tells us, who do excellent work supporting people with cancer in the community. He adds “Sadly my brother-in-law Ron died in 2015 from an incurable cancer and the hospice helped Ron and his family tremendously with support at home and then also in the hospice.”
What’s keeping Colin going through these challenges is partly proving to everyone what someone can achieve given the right support, motivation and encouragement and partly the fact that he benefits from the exercise by getting fitter and being more self-motivated. He says “I have alot of assistance from the support workers who enable me to do these activities and there are also a lot of volunteers who make sailing accessible for disabled people all over the country.”
How you can help
You can support Colin’s amazing achievements by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page and be sure to check back to his page in coming months to see how his next challenges go!