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Peter's Caledonian Canal Canoe Challenge!

3rd July 2017

We caught up with Peter Eaton-Maclean who did a spot of fundraising for us last month. He explains all about how why he raised funds for Alopecia UK….
“I was never fully aware of alopecia before. I had known a guy through work who had patchy hair but I didn’t properly understand what it was. My first real encounter with alopecia was when I met my wife, Mandy.
Mandy had no hair when I met her. She’d had alopecia for around 2 years at that point I think, and she was open with her baldness. I don’t think I ever really thought twice about it though. I didn’t yet understand the challenges that alopecia can bring, but the fact that Mandy didn’t have any hair didn’t change the person she was or how I felt about her.
The more I got to know Mandy, the more I got to understand the condition and what Mandy has to go through. The unpredictable nature of regrowth, the challenges of standing out from the crowd….luckily Mandy had very good friends to help her through it. Later, she found Alopecia UK. The help and support the charity gives people, my wife included, is amazing (I even got to experience it first-hand when I accompanied Mandy to Alopecia UK’s Big Weekend event last year in Glasgow). I felt like I wanted to give something back to the charity, to show my support and to thank everyone involved.
So what to do?! I’ve done half marathons before for Cancer Research but my knees are knackered now! Then I remembered that I’d always wanted to push myself to kayak the Caledonian Canal in a faster time than I’d previously managed (I’d previously completed it in over 3 days before, in a proper sea kayak – something I didn’t have this time). I knew it would be tricky but I’ve always felt that if I’m going to do something for charity, I need to make it something really hard.
The idea was then born; 60 miles of canals and lochs, within two days in a very unsuitable kayak! The challenge was set!
The event itself….well….there are no nice words to describe it….actually, there was some occasions of sunny weather – that’s about the highlight! The rest was a mixture of pain, disheartening stretches of rough loch, intense cold where at times I was genuinely concerned about hypothermia, blood dripping from what were originally blisters on my thumbs (they evolved way beyond blisters!) and down right exhaustion!
But it was all worth it! The knowledge that I was doing this for such a good cause kept me going….along with lots of chocolate and cheese!
Now looking back, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. What I remember is the sense of achievement in completing the task. I have such pride in my wife for how she deals with her alopecia and gratitude to Alopecia UK for being there for Mandy and many many others.” 

Wow! What a champion! Thanks so much to Peter for sharing his story with us and for his fundraising efforts for Alopecia UK. We hope the blisters have healed!

Peter raised a whopping £500.00 for Alopecia UK but his Justgiving page is still open. If you've been impressed by his efforts, we're sure he would appreciate any additional late donations to his page. Click here to show your support. 

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Alopecia UK is a registered charity number 1111304 and Scottish registered charity SCO44702
All content is © Alopecia UK 2018

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