Meet the Raid 17 Team: Chris HawesPublished Saturday, 5th August 2017
In September 2017 a team of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women will be attempting to cycle some of the toughest roads in the Pyrenees.
Team member Chris will be using a hand-bike to complete the gruelling coast-to-coast ride, which will be his biggest challenge to date.
Chris joined the Royal Air Force in 1998 as a Ground Support Equipment Electrician. An accident resulted in serious trauma to his leg and left Chris suffering from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
He was medically discharged in 2005 due to ongoing issues with his leg. Several years of constant pain, failed surgery and treatment left Chris suffering with depression.
In 2011 he made the decision to have his leg amputated above the knee.
He has been training hard for the event and says:
"Raid 17 has given me the chance of something to aim for and to focus my mind on, which stops me dwelling on my amputation and other problems.
It's been challenging keeping to the training plan that I set myself and I have been trying to lose some weight as well, it's not working, but I am fitter and stronger than I was this time last year!
The huge sense of accomplishment I feel by overcoming the difficult times is keeping me motivated and it helps having a great wife who listens to me when times get tough!"
"I know it's going to be hard climbing the long, steep hills but it wouldn't be worth doing if it wasn't a struggle! A team of experts from Swansea University and the University of South Wales have been helping us prepare physically and mentally, and I am just going to focus on one hill at a time."
"If anyone is thinking about getting involved with a similar challenge I would say 'Go for it!' Don't listen to the doubts in your head, or people who say you can't do it due to your disability, if you want to do it just go for it.. you might regret not doing it."
Chris is undertaking this challenge to raise funds for the RAF Association, which actively looks after the welfare of the RAF family, giving help in times of need to everyone who serves in the RAF, and their dependants, past and present, now and always.
To make a donation please visit his fundraising page >> http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChrisHawes
Special thanks to Sammy Lloyd for the song 'One More Hill' written especially for 65 Degrees North Raid 17 challenge > https://youtu.be/T0Gt3AX9SmY