My name’s Steven and this is my Wife Yuki.
In March 2022, we’re going to be trekking across the Sahara Desert for charity.
So how did it all come about, who are we and why are we doing it?
Around February 2021, I saw a post from another lawyer who is a Trustee of LOROS, mentioning the Sahara Desert trek.
I thought it looked interesting. I’ve always thought I’d like to do something big for Charity.
In January 2020, a few friends and I did a charity sleep out in Leicester for Charity Link. It was a challenge, but good fun, and most importantly we raised several thousands of pounds for the local poor and vulnerable.
As Christians, we have always given financially to charities, but the sleepout was the first time I’d spent time and effort on it. Normally, I escape the usual charity events by throwing money at things. I’ll support anyone doing a walk, race, or whatever, for charity!
But the sleepout inspired me. It actually took quite a bit of effort to “fundraise” but we knew it was worth it; on the evening a old end user of the charity just happened to walk by, told her story and how without the charity she’d still be back where she’d started, and then proceeded to put a couple of pounds in the bucket! Amazing.
Back to February 2021, so I saw this Sahara Trek event and I thought “that looks interesting”. I never thought that my wife would immediately say “yes” as well.
I signed up to the LOROS information evening by zoom, but frankly we’d already made our minds up before then.
Apparently I was the first to sign up.
So here we are, it’s March 2021 as of writing this and we’re 12 months away from the biggest event we’ve ever done.
Who are we?
I’m Steven and I’m a consultant solicitor, which means I help my clients and other law firms’ clients with a variety of business law issues. Yuki is my wife, and she helps run the business as well.
We’re based in Leicestershire and have 2 kids who will not be coming on the trek with us.
We’re very much family people though, and the Trek will be the first time in 11 years that we will have left our kids for more than 2 nights. 😱
Weekends are taken up with the kids, but we love doing things together and will often go for a little walk.
I think it’s safe to say, however, that we’re very much at the “five star” end of holidays and lifestyle. We tried camping in a pod once, and it was a dreadful experience 😂. We’d much rather be in a nice luxury hotel than a tent, that’s for sure, but alas they don’t have them in the Sahara so tent it is! As I said, a BIG challenge for us.
So not only will leaving behind the kids and sleeping in a tent be a big challenge for us, but for me personally the walking itself will be an even bigger challenge; I was diagnosed in 2018 with Menieres Disease.
Ménière’s disease is a long term, progressive condition affecting the balance and hearing parts of the inner ear. Symptoms are acute attacks of vertigo (severe dizziness), fluctuating tinnitus, increasing deafness, and a feeling of pressure in the ear
Over the last couple of years, I’ve struggled to walk much more than a couple of hours and a few miles. While Menieres Disease is an ear problem, it affects your vestibular system – the thing that keeps you balanced and upright – and so it deals with eyes and ears. What that means is that visual disturbances can upset me and make me off balance, as well as just general tiredness, and sometimes the weather, and sometimes it can just be random.
Ok enough small violins 🎻 – I’m very lucky I don’t have anything that can’t be overcome and so while it will be a factor in making the trek a bit more difficult, it shouldn’t make it impossible!
Why are we doing it?
Well, it’s a once in a lifetime kind of event really isn’t it? Walking for 5 days across the Sahara Desert! Just that alone was enough for us, but to think we could also raise a significant amount to our charities is really the icing on the cake.
Just so things are clear we are fully funding every part of our trip ourselves. LOROS and the event organisers Global Adventures do have an option where the charity will pay the flight and trip costs, but we’ve chosen to pay in full meaning that every single penny will go to the charities we’re supporting.
I’m also doing it to push myself. I’m 196cm (6ft 4) and 130kg+ aka massively overweight. The Trek gives me a target to lose weight and get fit, and since my diagnosis, I’ve had all the excuses in the world not to exercise properly! “It makes me ill, it’ll me make dizzy, I’m tired” I’m full of it.
Being in the middle of the Sahara Desert will mean the excuses have no where to hide.
It’ll be me and my battle.
I’m so glad I’ll be with my wife too, to enjoy it together, to get through it together, and to support each other.
We’ll also be together with at least 2 existing friends in Steve and Sam, friends who join us as a result of seeing me post about signing up to the trek! No doubt we’ll make new friends on the trek itself too.
Finally, why make a website dedicated to the trip and not just make a JustGiving site?
Well, because I can firstly, but for two main reasons:
- To keep a blog of our training, the fundraising and the trek itself, so we have lasting memories of it and
- I would prefer the charities to get every single penny of the money raised. JustGiving will take a percentage of donations, unless you as donee pay extra to them. I’d rather all of the money raised goes direct to the charities so that more use and more people can benefit directly.
Thanks for reading a little about us. Have a look around the site and sign up to the newsletter to get updated through the next 12 months.
Whether you’re able to give financially or with moral support, we really appreciate it and I know the charities will do too.