What do the two people opposite have in common? A 17 year old, female, A-level student with such uncomfortable hypermobility and joints so prone to dislocation, even climbing the stairs can be extremely precarious for her…and a 33 year old, dad-to-be and member of a Cambridgeshire based 24/7 medical team; trained to bring hospital level care to people fighting for their lives…
The answer is two equally punishing challenges, set to push both individuals way beyond their comfort zones, to help raise funds for a charity close to their hearts; but from two totally different perspectives. Thanks to absolute focus and willpower; neither person will give up until their chosen mission is fully accomplished. Both of them have also decided to clock up some valuable kilometres, by taking part in The Bedford Running Festival (on the 31st August / 1st September) even though these people have yet to meet!
Gaby Wells is one of 4 sisters. She lives in Hartford in Huntingdon and is a pupil at St Ivo School. Gaby has always been naturally sporty. However, just over 3 years ago she was diagnosed with hEds which means she constantly struggles with joint pain and dislocations – especially of the hips. Gaby’s main aim is to run a total of 1,000km! She explains, “Exercising for me is always a challenge; if I didn’t feel motivated there is no way I would be able to do what I am doing now. When I am exercising it gives my mind something different to focus on, which usually takes my mind off the pain that I am always in. But after I’ve finished, the pain will always come straight back.”
Gaby goes on to say, “I love running; I have always enjoyed being able just to put my headphones in and just concentrate. It helps me because my condition needs physio and running plays a big part in building up all the muscles around my legs, which in turn strengthens up the muscles around my hips. So far this year I have run 762.3km out of my challenge total of 1,000km. I am on target, but it’s really tough.”
Then there’s Dr Scott Castell; his wife is expecting their first child (any day now). He has set himself the goal of running a total of 169km, wearing his full protective medical uniform (which is chemical & flame retardant) and incredibly warm to wear at the best of times, whilst carrying his full medical kit on his back (which weighs over 15 kg). Scott is from Leicestershire, but works for a medical charity which covers the Eastern Region.
Scott describes what motivates him, “I’ve always been good at pushing myself physically and mentally, so I wanted to put those skills to good use and do something that raises money for this amazing charity to help more people when they need it most. The charity’s new air ambulance will make that difference, but it will be a team effort to keep it flying – so I need people’s help!”
Recently, Scott and Gaby met for the first time at Bedford Country Park (the venue set for The Bedford Running Festival); as Dr Scott will be running the half marathon and Gaby will be doing the 10k Twilight run. In addition, they both want to try get the word out to the local communities and encourage others to get running too!
Gaby and Scott trained together and ran together. They even compared notes on stretching exercises. Gaby explained, “6 months ago, I decided to do something to give back to the air ambulance charity and team who have been called out to me 5 times now. The most recent time they flew to me was when I was at school and I had fallen down some stairs. I suffered hip dislocations and injuries to my neck, Magpas Air Ambulance gave me hospital level pain relief and treatment that I needed there and then. I was in a huge amount of pain and I am very grateful they have been there for me.”
Describing how it felt to meet Scott for the first time, Gaby said, “It’s awesome to know that we’re each doing our own ‘mad’ challenges, but that we’re also doing this together. Meeting Scott is inspiring me to keep on training. I also want to try and get other kids motivated and encourage them to do something that keeps them fit and feeling good about themselves.”
Dr Scott Castell said, “Gaby is an amazing young woman. It’s great to meet her and to hear more about what she’s doing. We’re here to urge people to challenge themselves their own way – to go further, faster and be greater; whilst helping to fundraise to keep the Magpas Air Ambulance flying! As human beings, we often don’t know what we’re capable of until we really try!”
To support Scott by way of sponsorship, please click here
To sponsor Gaby, please click here