Meet the Leuchie Challengers 2016

Throughout 2016, some amazing people, both supporters and staff, will be doing a range of physical challenges for Leuchie House - from running the London Marathon, to hiking up Ben Nevis, to swimming Loch Lomond, to competing in Total Warrior! Here are their stories as they start off on their journeys. We'll keep you posted on their progress as their challenges get closer!

Daniel 

Challenges: Great Edinburgh Run (10 miles), 17 April; Edinburgh Half Marathon, 29 May; Hike up Ben Nevis, Summer 2016.
Connection to Leuchie: Having been diagnosed with MS at 15, Mairi O'Keefe, Leuchie's CEO, was a great support in making sure I got the support I needed. She arranged for me to have physiotherapy and psychotherapy at Leuchi and helped me to be considered for a radical new drug, Tysabri, which has helped minimise my MS symptoms and return to an active life.
Why did you decide to do the challenge? I wanted to do something for Leuchie because they have helped me so much. It's also a way to prove to myself that I can do it, so it's a mental challenge as well.
What will your training involve? My partner, Kevin, will be doing all three challenges with me and we'll be training together too. We've started running five days a week and going to a weekly running boot camp. 
Alarm set for 6 am again. I must be crazy!

Kevin

Challenge: London Marathon, 24 April
Connection to Leuchie: My brother, Davie, who has MS, has been coming to Leuchie 2-3 times a year for the past 10 years. 
Why did you decide to do the challenge? Leuchie is the charity that is closest to my heart. I think it's simply fantastic and provides quality respite for Davie, as well as his family, who can be sound in the knowledge that he is in safe hands in a place he knows and loves.
What will your training involve? Although I ran the Berlin Marathon for Leuchie in 2012, I had let my fitness level drop dramatically, had put on weight and generally let things slip. So getting my place in the London Marathon was the motivation I needed to get back out running.
How do you feel about it at this stage? The training is now on track, I’m feeling pretty good about it and hopefully will produce a reasonable performance on the big day.
Support Kevin: https://www.justgiving.com/kevin-regan3

Gary

Challenges: A one mile swim at Loch Lomond, 26 August; a 1.4 mile swim across the Firth of Forth, 11 September
Connection to Leuchie: Staff nurse at Leuchie House
Why did you decide to do the challenge? I'd never done an outdoor swim before, it's a good way to get fit, and two lovely locations to swim in.
Any personal goals? I'd like to do both swims in under an hour.
What will your training involve? Lots of swimming! I'll be aiming to swim four times a week, as well as cross-training by running and going to the gym. 
How do you feel about it at this stage? Optimistic!

Emma

Challenge: Total Warrior, 11 September
Connection to Leuchie: Charge nurse at Leuchie House
Why did you decide to do the challenge? Because I enjoyed it last year and loved the sense of achievement it gave me.
Any personal goals? I'd like to get a better stab at it this year and hopefully do even more of the obstacles.
What will your training involve? I'm planning to start running soon, whenever I can fit it around work and family life.
How do you feel about it at this stage? I'm looking forward to it!

Gillian

Challenge: Total Warrior, 11 September
Connection to Leuchie: Care assistant at Leuchie House
Why did you decide to do the challenge? I decided that I really wanted to challenge myself this year so as well as doing Total Warrior, I'm running in the Edinburgh half marathon at the end of May.
Any personal goals? I'm determined to do as many of the Total Warrior obstacles as possible.
What will your training involve? I'm already running five times a week to train for the marathon. After that I plan to take the running off-road and go to the gym to work on my upper body strength.
How do you feel about it at this stage? I'm slightly worried about the obstacles, but the distance side of it should be ok!

Jo

Challenge: Total Warrior, 11 September
Connection to Leuchie: Bookings relationship manager at Leuchie House
Why did you decide to do the challenge? I went along to watch and support the Leuchie team last year when my son was taking part. I thought it looked brilliant and decided to give it a go.
Any personal goals? I'm looking forward to having something to work towards and to getting fitter. If my son can do it, so can I!
What will your training involve? I'm going to get back on my bike and start cycling to work again. And my early morning walks with the dog will become run-walks!
How do you feel about it at this stage? Excited. It's good to have a challenge and to push your boundaries.

Lorena

Challenge: Total Warrior, 11 September
Connection to Leuchie: Nurse in charge, Leuchie House
Why did you decide to do the challenge? It's for a very good cause! We raised a lot of money (£7,000) as a team last year and this is a good opportunity to raise even more.
Any personal goals: I'd like to beat the time it took me to get round the obstacles last year.
What will your training involve? I'll be going to the gym and doing as much weight training as possible to improve my upper body strength.
How do you feel about it at this stage? Excited!

Megan

Challenge: Total Warrior, 11 September
Connection to Leuchie: Care assistant at Leuchie House
Why did you decide to do the challenge? For a challenge - I've never done anything like this before.
Any personal goals: To get to the finish line!
What will your training involve? I'm planning to go to the gym and to start running whenever I get time.
How do you feel about it at this stage? Petrified!

Michelle

Challenge: Total Warrior, 11 September
Connection to Leuchie: Staff nurse at Leuchie House
Why did you decide to do the challenge? I was looking for a new challenge this year after running the London Marathon last year. I'd been thinking about doing Total Warrior for a while so when I started working at Leuchie and heard they had a Total Warrior team, I jumped at the chance to do it.
Any personal goals: To take on another big physical challenge that's completely new to me.
What will your training involve? It's brilliant because it will get me out running again. Although I've done a lot of running in the past, it gives me much more of a focus to run regularly when I'm working towards a challenge like this.
How do you feel about it at this stage? Excited!