Joe Straw finally completed his skydive. Joe says,

After the disappointment of having to postpone the skydive from 2 June to 14 July 2018, I was very excited to finally complete my third challenge, the Skydive at Hibaldstow.

The member of the skydive team (who would be jumping out of the plane directly behind me) was great and explained what I should do during the skydive. A family friend Paul Seaman who was a former Royal Marines Commando also joined me.

I boarded the minibus and was taken along to the runway to the plane. It was really exciting and quite dramatic. The first person to dive was my cameraman and then myself with my instructor and then Paul.

From 15000 ft up the views were incredible. We could see the curvature of the earth as well as the ocean. The freefall continued for one minute and the most bizarre thing was that it didn’t feel like you were falling, more like flying! My instructor pulled the parachute and we began to float slowly towards the ground, landing safely. I would definitely do it again and recommend skydiving as an unforgettable experience and a great way to raise funds for the BTF.


Ian Straw, dad to Joe Straw set a challenge to the prisoners and staff of HMP & YOI Doncaster. Ian says, "On Friday 13 July 2018 prisoners and PE staff from HMP & YOI Doncaster took part in a charity bleep test challenge. We completed 10 bleep tests to level 10 with a two minute break in between each test. There were 6 staff and 30 prisoners that took part in this very difficult challenge". All proceeds will be going to the BTF.


Joe Straw climbed the Yorkshire Three Peaks on 23 June 2018. Joe says, "My Dad, three friends and myself completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The day started with a trudge up Pen-y-ghent which we managed in 45 minutes. The conditions were ideal and a nice breeze made it comfortable. Part of the challenge involves a very long walk to the start of the second peak, Whernside, which passes the Ribblehead Viaduct. The weather was at its warmest, as we reached the trig point of Whernside, however the breeze kept it pleasant. We climbed down Whernside only stopping for a drink, before heading for mountain number three, Ingleborough. This is the most challenging and steepest of all three mountains. After stopping for photographs at the trig point, we decided we would run the rest of the way into Horton in Ribblesdale. We completed the challenge and, to celebrate, had food in the Pen-y-ghent cafe before driving back to South Yorkshire. Although climbing the Yorkshire Three Peaks is a very hard endurance challenge, I would definitely recommend it to other who wish to raise funds for the BTF. I now move on my next challenge, the Skydive on the 14 July 2018, so please donate to help me reach it"

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Mark Leach completed one leg of the John o'Groats to Lands End bike ride. Mark says: 'Both myself and my mother suffer with hypothyroidism. I wanted to raise some awareness for our condition and the British Thyroid Foundation. A group of friends were riding from John O’Groats to Lands End, so I decided to join them for one leg of their journey. On what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far, we cycled from Bisley, near Stroud to Silverton Devon. Our 110 mile journey took us through four counties with approximately eight hours in the saddle. Temperatures were around 30 degrees in the afternoon and I needed nine litres of drinks throughout the journey to stay hydrated. This was my first cycle of over 100 miles in one day, friends and family are proud of my achievement'. Mark raised £85 for the BTF.

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Joe Plater set himself another 24 hours solid live streaming challenge in the game Elite Dangerous on the 9 June 2018. Joe who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October 2016 raised over £8,000 for the BTF.

 You can watch the stream on Joe's YouTube channel.




Julia Hudd took part in Wiltshire’s Big Pledge on I4 May 2018 and in the Rainbow Run on 2 June 2018. Julia says: I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in September 2017. The journey has been a stressful one involving various hospital appointments, blood tests and the continuing change in medication.

I decided to take on a variety of challenges this May/June in an attempt to raise awareness of thyroid disorders. It seems not many people have an understanding of how debilitating they can and I wanted to raise funds for the BTF who are a source of knowledge and information.

Julia has raised £145 for the BTF.

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Lucy Sloper took part in the Half Marathon to llchester on 26 May. Lucy says: I ran a half marathon to raise awareness and hopefully some sponsorship for The BTF. I chose this date to coincide with World Thyroid Day on the 25 May. I decided to get more in involved in raising awareness since I had my daughter in 2016. She was extremely poorly when she was born and at 4 days old she was re-admitted to hospital for phototherapy. During that time she had her normal heel prick test (newborn screening). Her results showed she had congenital hypothyroidism. We later found out she did not have a thyroid gland. I am also hypothyroid and wanted to make life as normal as possible for her. I explain to her the importance of taking her tablets. Also family members are asking to know more about her condition. Although I do run regularly I’ve never ran that far before. After I hit 10 miles it became a struggle for me. I am really pleased I managed to complete it though.

Lucy has raised £280 for the BTF.

Joe Straw, BTF trustee, raised over £600 with the first of his fundraising challenges - a 300 foot bungee jump at Tatton Park, Cheshire. Joe says, "I jumped after two other great people who were also bungee jumping for charity so it was good to chat to them and feel like we were all in the same boat, the theme was the same, we all said that we were saying to ourselves in our heads “what on earth are we doing” but then most of the unease left when we remembered the reasons we were jumping, mine was remembering the great work the BTF do for all people with thyroid disease."
Penelope Bailey took part in the Virtual Runner challenge. Karen says: My challenge began when I decided to do 40 different things in two years before I reach the big 40. I signed up to the Virtual Runner challenge to gain the RAF 100 medal. I decided to walk 100 miles (160.934km) throughout the month of April and set a goal of raising £100. I worked out that I needed to do at least 3.33 miles a day. Day one was Easter Sunday and too much chocolate! I only managed to do 0.62 of a mile. Not a good start, but by the end of week one, I was already ahead of the game, having reached 30 miles. As I headed towards the rest of the month I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, with the weather putting in a few challenges of its own (like the hottest day). Previously setting goals for my self, such as doing my first ever 10k and competing a 5k on the hottest day of the year, was all I needed to keep the miles ticking over. By week three, I was already at 86 miles. Little did I know at day one, I would finish four days early. I can’t thank everyone enough who supported me; the BTF for the fabulous t-shirt, the positive comments that kept me going, and your donations which has raised a fantastic £167.50 for the BTF. Having an underactive thyroid wasn’t going to stop me from achieving my goal, but at the start I didn’t think I would have the energy. So if your reading this and want to do a challenge go on and take a step out, I walked 100 Miles in a month! Good luck and thanks for reading.
Vicky Flower a teacher, wanted to raise funds for both BTF and Moorfields Eye Charity. When discussing Lent at school with her class, Vicki decided she should really do something helpful this year and give up cake for charity.Vicky had Graves’ disease at nineteen, so it seemed obvious that the British Thyroid Foundation should receive some of the money! She is now thirty-four and has been given some surgery to correct her Graves’ ‘stare’ which she says went well.In total, she raised just over £100, which will be split between the two charities.She would like to remind everyone to never give up, even when at times life feels impossible! You will get there in the end!
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Jordan Hammond decided at the start of the year to not have a beer until he had completed the ASCIS Greater Manchester Marathon on 8 April 2018. At the time his mum had been having a lot trouble with her underactive thyroid and seemed a bit down. It made him want to try help. His mum gets a lot of advice from the BTF Facebook page. So he decided to run a marathon and raise funds for the BTF. He reached his target of £260 and his family was very proud of him.
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Joe Straw, BTF trustee ran in The Asda Foundation Sheffield Half Marathon on 8 April 2018 and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Joe says ‘the day was perfect and it was ideal running weather and was fantastic to represent the British Thyroid Foundation amongst many other amazing charities, running alongside wild and wonderful costumes. The route and scenery was beautiful, beginning in the centre of Sheffield and heading out into the Peak District before coming back to finish in the city centre to a rapturous crowd.' So far Joe has raised £335 for the BTF.
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Michelle Morden took part in the Virgin London Marathon 2018 on the 22 April. Michelle decided to run in the race after being diagnosed with Hashimotos. She was then diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in 2006. Michelle says: ‘It was a fantastic day some miles harder than others. Thrilled to raise over £1000 for the charity. Thank you for the tweets and the encouraging words’.
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Well done to Paddy Mumby who raised over £590 whilst taking part in the London Royal Parks Half Marathon in October. His daughter Saoirse was born without a thyroid and he wants to raise money to help others like her in the future.
Cameron Whitelaw who raised a fantastic £540 when he took part in the Great West Run Exeter 2017 Half Marathon in October 2017. His wife has Graves' disease and he wanted to raise awareness.
Congratulations and a huge thank you to Luke Hudson, Katherine Storey, Ailsa Macmillan, Mike Holliday-Williams and Roisin Sharp who all took part in the Simplyhealth Great North Run in September 2017 to raise awareness about thyroid disorders. Between them they raised over £3100.
Lauren Worthy and her mum took part in the Leeds 10k in July and raised £115.
Sheila Benbow ran in the Great Midlands Fun Run in June. Many of her family members have an under-active thyroid and she raised £122 for BTF.
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This year we had three runners who took part in the Vitality British 10K Run. Congratulations and thank you to Anastasia Pinches, Katja Gomer and Brigita Vaskelyte.

Joe Plater, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2016, has raised over £3500 for the BTF by organising a sponsored gaming live stream! He started a YouTube channel in May 2016 and said: ‘I threw myself in to the channel whilst recovering from operations. I had what I thought would be a tough target to hit of £1000 but it was smashed within seven hours!’