My name is Keith Diaper and I am 40 year old husband and father from Hedge End in Southampton. I’m an electrician and a keen triathlete.
Starting on Saturday 1st April 2017 I will be doing one middle distance triathlon every Saturday and Sunday for six months – so I will be covering 3655.6 miles in total, over 52 events. That’s about the same distance as travelling from Southampton to New York.
A Middle Distance Triathlon is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile cycle and then a 13.1 mile run.
The reason for taking on such a challenge is to help raise awareness and funds for the charity Hypermobility Syndromes Association (HMSA). My wife, Pippa, has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, one of the long-term conditions covered by the charity. This condition means there is a defect in her collagen which causes her joints to dislocate on a regular basis. She is in daily pain and suffers with fatigue. There is currently no cure for EDS and there is a possibility that she will one day be in a wheelchair.
Pippa was misdiagnosed for many years. The health professionals carried out many tests but thought Pippa had Fibromyalgia, due to a few similar symptoms. After many more visits to specialists over an almost 3 year period, she was finally diagnosed with EDS. Following this we came across the HMSA’s website, everything my wife was going through was listed along with lots of resources to help her cope.
By teaming up with the HMSA my mission is to bring wider awareness of their work and the conditions suffered by so many. I know we currently can’t cure this condition but we can educate people. If my challenge helps people who are in the situation my wife found herself in, then it would be worth it. Any funds we raise along the way will help the HMSA with their work, which covers research, support and education.