In 2009, I was diagnosed with a disease called Cushing’s, caused by a tumour on the pituitary gland, putting my body into a life-threatening state. I was barely strong enough to climb the stairs or get myself out of a bath. Diabetes, insomnia, memory loss, psychosis, muscle wasting, osteoporosis, spots, excessive hair growth and puffiness in the face and stomach were some of the symptoms I dealt with. 8 years on, I want to live my life and challenge my mind and body to see what they are now capable of.
I had never rowed before deciding on this challenge. Over the years, I have set myself goals that push my mental and physical boundaries.
I have found the experiences that come with tackling the unknown and the potential for achievement far outweigh the possibility of failure. With a belief that the outcome is irrelevant, I see challenge as an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge as well as resilience, confidence and relationships.
“Whilst I’ll row alone, I’ll go further with your support. I’d love to have you on board, in spirit, with me on my journey.”
Other things I am involved with
Basically I am an educator, challenge seeker and adventurer. Having spent 7 years teaching science in the classroom she left to co-found a charity, The Big Stand, and her own stand up paddle-boarding business, SUPKiko. She is passionate about the environment, adventure and the outdoors and incorporates these as much as possible in her everyday life and work.
The Big Stand
Founded in November 2015 by myself and my co-founder Charlie Head, The Big Stand aims to empower with education and inspire through adventure. The environment and well-being are at the heart of the charity, with the ultimate aim of developing confidence and creating happier, healthier people and environments.
Founded in 2015, SUPKiko delivers stand up paddle-boarding lessons in Richmond and Hackney. It was responsible for the birth of a scheme called #trash4treats, which has now been taken on by The Big Stand. In collaboration with Moo Canoes, #trash4treats incorporates SUP lessons and experiences (or canoe) with collecting trash from London’s waterways. For every bucket of litter collected during the paddle, customers receive a treat from a local partner/business.
No TV as a kid meant adventures were around every corner in my childhood. This subsequently made me a very independent young adult.
At 16 I won a place on a cadet leadership course to the Yukon, Canada, in 2005/6 she was part of a team that drove from London – Cape Town whilst raising £500k for spinal injury charities (www.drivinghome.com), and then again in 2012, as part of a team, I drove to Uganda, where I stayed and worked. Later, I moved to Zanzibar before returning to the UK.
In November 2015 I organized and lead an expedition circumnavigating Ibiza by SUP (video). With over 43 countries visited (and still counting), I love meeting new people and experiencing new environments, and thriving on the uncertainty of what could be next.
Whether you want to be part of the team promoting the empowering of women, help fundraise for King’s college Hospital Charity, or perhaps you want to develop a skill you feel you can offer me, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and support me.
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