Sometimes in life we are dealt a hand which can be unfair, tough, unjust. It is within our nature to rise above and overcome, some of us fall at the first hurdle, some just get up and carry on. The saying goes ” Get knocked down 7 times, stand up 8″. That is the foundation on which this story is based.
In September 2014, two young children were happily playing and growing up, enjoying life as all children should do. Freya, two years old at the time was enjoying family life with her Mum, Dad and Sister Ella. Cellan was seven, and growing into a fine young man with his Mum, Dad, and Brother Caiden. All of a sudden these two families would be thrown into a whirlwind of emotion and heartache, of which they were forced to learn, adapt and overcome.
Both Freya and Cellan had begun suffering from dramatic weight loss, and unexplained bed wetting. This understandably caused concern for both sets of parents. It wasn’t until Little Freya took a turn for the worse one morning when her lips turned blue. She was rushed to the doctors and subsequently ended up in hospital, the same fate awaited Cellan.
Both terrified and on a drip laying in their hospital beds. 3 days and countless blood tests they were both diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and began receiving Insulin. Their lives and the lives of their families were to change forever.
“Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.” (Source JDRF.org)
The common misconception is of Type 2 diabetes which is commonly brought on by bad diets and lifestyle that of the “too much sugar or sweets” stereotyping.
A routine has now been long under way by both families consisting of taking blood every two hours throughout the whole day and night. This is to measure levels of glucose in the blood. From the results both Freya and Cellan’s parents have to use complicated arithmetic to calculate how much insulin to administer taking into account physical activity and excitability. Then check the children’s urine for glucose levels too. A very demanding and never-ending ritual, that is not for the faint hearted. If any of these tests are missed or come up low the risk of unconsciousness and seizures presents itself.
By chance both Freya and Cellan’s Dad’s were in high school together, and began sharing their knowledge with each other. Since their children’s diagnosis they have faced the challenges that both Freya and Cellan have, side by side with their wives and family.
Both Scott (Freya’s Dad) and Lee (Cellan’s Dad) found the lack of public knowledge surrounding Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes distressing. They set about a venture to complete sporting challenges in the form of an Ironman Triathlon to raise funds for their chosen charity JDRF. However their venture quickly escalated into something much bigger and found that people wanted and needed to be educated. Determined Daddies was formed.
Determined Daddies is Scott and Lee’s brainchild, their tool to educate, fund raise and support all in aid of Type 1 Diabetes. They are raising funds for JDRF a leading T1D researcher, in hopes to find a cure. You can help and donate by clicking here. They have also began supporting other families going through similar challenges with their ‘Determined Smile‘ where they treat other young children to days out, or gifts. A little light relief from an otherwise hectic life.
Which brings me nicely to 3185 Adventures, the brainchild of Nick Hunter, after his father sadly passed away from cancer. 3185 Adventures was formed in 2010 by Nick and twin brothers Darryl and Jay Ratchford. The company was set up to complete expeditions for charity and in 2011 they attempted to Canoe the Yukon River a distance of 3185 km, hence the name 3185. Since then the company has grown and evolved with the philosophy of “Positively changing lives through adventure travel… where we aim to bring the great outdoors to people from every walk of life.” They are a global outfit with bases in Canada, the United Kingdom and the Cayman Islands.
Most recently 3185 have started making head way on a new project by starting the process of building an outward bound center for disadvantaged children, young adults and disabled people from around the world. Nick told me, “This centre will drastically improve the lives of all who use it. Whether you’re an experienced adventurer or a first time camper, this facility and site will offer you everything to suit your abilities. The centre will be based in The Rocky Mountains in Canada and open all year round. Every season will offer the users a completely different experience.”
This facility is primarily aimed at giving people who are engulfed in the day-to-day struggles of living with conditions, disabilities and illness along with many other life hurdles a break and a chance to achieve, bond and over come the barriers they face. Much like the ‘Determined Smile’ this project is about lending a helping hand to those who need it most. A chance for families to forget, if only for a second the challenges they face. The end goal of the centre is to get families together. Nick said, “You would not believe it but centres that cater to children with life threatening illnesses or disabilities do not involve siblings or parents. 3185’s project would in fact be the only centre to include the whole family and the demand for this is extremely high.” It’s important to mention that the centre is open to anyone, from any walk of life and of any ability. This is due to a fantastic team that 3185 has working for them.
3185, and Nick have received the backing from ‘The Make a Wish Foundation‘, and have made massive advances to securing the site in the Rocky Mountains, Canada. All that remains is the funding for renovations to provide outstanding facilities and activities for the people most deserving. You can help 3185 Adventures achieve their goal and be safe in the knowledge that you had a part in turning someones ordeal into an exciting adventure. Nick and 3185 are desperate to have the project Crowd Funded by everyday people you can do this by clicking here and donating whatever you can.
Just remember whilst you’re asleep at 2am tonight Scott, Lee and their families are awake ensuring their children get to live their lives as normally as possible. Don’t you think they deserve a little light relief, the kind that could be provided by 3185 Adventures.
You can visit Determined Daddies and 3185 Adventures by clicking the links below: