In April 2013 I was diagnosed with indolent Mantle Cell Lymphoma (Non-Hodgkins) which was a bit of a bummer to be sure but I'm very lucky as it is slow growing (it's usually aggressive) and am still currently able to do pretty much anything I could before until I need treatment. As a rare disease it wasn't prioritised much but thanks to research such as the Nordic Trials there are much more effective treatments for this and other difficult to treat blood cancers but there is still so much more needed. Gene Wilder had MCL and a similar treatment (chemo and autologous stem cell transplant) to what I will have back in 1999 when it was experimental and he is still going strong at 80. Research & clinical trials ensure that new, successful treatments become frontline options for everyone sooner as long as the NHS is stopped from being privatised.
While I am still on watch and wait I'd like to raise money for research and my doc has given me a letter to say I can do any sports and be able to enter chilli eating competitions. As I've done a marathon before (yes, really) and because it is the lazier form of masochism I'm entering a chilli eating contest on Saturday 7th June at Grillstock in Bristol at 16.10.
Without being able to drink anything during the competition I'll be eating raw chillies such as the Scotch Bonnet (250,000 Scoville heat units) up to the Dorset Naga (1.2 million Scovilles). The no drinking bit unhelpfully does not recreate my normal hot food eating situations so we'll see how it goes.
For this idiocy it would be much appreciated if it wasn't just for my friends entertainment and raised some money too, so if you are able to, please make a donation. If you'd like to donate more for me doing well please do, as the guys at Grillstock and the Clifton Chilli Club video the competition and post it on Youtube so there will be evidence of my tears.
I only have 3 weeks to train so wish me luck!