Charlie hopes to raise some awareness of the condition through her story as there is a drug available in Scotland but not in England to treat these boys that suffer. Petitions have gone to No 10 but with no success yet. Charlie will continue to fund raise through doing events and has a second boy, Bobby with same condition. She uses exercise and principles of KSFL to keep her going.
Charlie Bailey, my story.
After having my first Son 16 years ago and then followed by another 2 sons and a daughter I’ve always struggled with my weight. Topping the scales at 16 Stone after my first child I decided to join a slimming club. Having lost a couple of stone the novelty of having to weigh myself and measure everything I ate soon wore off and the weight soon crept back on.
After holidays, Christmas and birthdays it was time to try another slimming club. This went on for well over 10 years always yo-yo dieting. After breaking my collar bone in August 2013 and having time off sick boredom soon began to set in so a friend suggested we start to go to the gym once a week so we started a Spin class with Danni at Basecamp Gym.
Not having done any form of exercise since I was in school, 1 spin session was challenge enough. I got talking to Danni and a few of the members who were taking part in Danni’s 90 days to Telford 10k challenge and it was suggested I sign up for it. It was mostly everybody’s very first run so, the next day I got my trainers on and ran around the back field. In fact I could barely make it around the field I was so unfit!
When I got home I messaged Danni to ask if she really thought it was possible for somebody as unfit as me to be ready to run 10k in 90 days, Danni believed in me, in true Danni style she said YES YOU CAN.
So, what better way to spend my time of sick than to use it to get healthy and run 2 to 3 times a week? I’d drop the kids at school and head off down the canal. At first it was just short distances, stop-start but in a matter of weeks I had run 5k without stopping, by the time of the race I was ready and did the full 10k non-stop in 1hr and 2 minutes.
Over the Christmas period I noticed Danni promoting the KSFL Detox programme, and already feeling the effects of an indulgent Christmas I decided to sign up to kick start in January. I had to do something, despite picking up the spin class and the running I still felt fat & bloated. So, that was it green soup, eating real food and water for a month – my friends did not believe I could do it, but Danni did.
When the food list came out I was so impressed I could eat REAL FOOD. Anybody that knows me knows I LOVE my food. On Thursday 2nd January I weighed 12st3 ¾ with measurements of 41” chest, 40.5” waist, 42” hips, 22.5” thighs, 42” across my bum and 12” upper arms.
The detox would now commence for a whole month with no alcohol, but worst of all NO DIET COKE – I was totally addicted to it, mostly to replace meals. At the time I had 2 sons in wheelchairs, 2 other children in different schools, a part-time job and a house to look after but this time I was going to be prepared. I was so determined to make this work.
Throughout the month Danni would send us daily updates and workouts – being in a hectic household I found it better to do more classes at Basecamp and with that came the encouragement and support. You can walk into Basecamp after having the worst day ever but come out feeling good about yourself.
As January was coming to an end my friends couldn’t wait to get me back out on the town but first came the end of month results… 11st 3 ¾ so a whole stone down in 4 weeks, but better than that I’d lost inches. I’d lost 2” on the Chest, 4” around the waist, 2” on the hips and 2” on the bum. I felt fantastic after my night out and I was straight back on the KSFL lifestyle. Next was a holiday in May to aim for – having a goal really helps and Danni would encourage us to set goals no matter how small or big, it kept me focussed.
I continued through the months joining in more classes at Basecamp. Sometimes I’d be there doing back to back classes – I loved it.
As the beginning of May arrived it was time to weigh and measure again, new weight 10st 2lb. and another 2” off chest, 3 ½ “ off waist, 3” off hips and another 3” across bum. I didn’t want to ruin it all by going on holiday and letting it all go, so in order to keep on top of it all I went for a run around the harbour most mornings and lasted 10 days out of 14 alcohol free! Then one afternoon by the pool I was scrolling through Facebook and noticed a friend had entered Brighton Marathon having been inspired by Danni & friend and fellow instructor Laura doing it the year before, she suggested I do it – so very crazily, I signed up. Me? A marathon? Seriously?? Before I knew it I was signed up, so along with my new found fitness at the gym I was now training for a Marathon but giving me a massive motivation was that I was running it for my Boys, Charlie and Bobby. I would be raising money for Muscular Dystrophy, a charity very close to my heart.
My boys were 5 and 3 when I found out they had this devastating terminal illness, by the time they were 9 they were both wheelchair users.
The rest of the year after our holiday seemed to go from bad to worse. In September I split up with my long term partner, this resulted in me having less ability to get to the gym but I still managed to get a decent routine of classes in as I could take my little girl with me. There’s no stopping us at Basecamp, the kids are like a family there and Danni & James always encourage us to let the kids come along – they are being inspired and learn from us committing to our health. Marathon training also had a slight blip when my eldest son, Charlie, had a severe chest infection 5 days before Christmas. He ended up in intensive care as a result but he was finally allowed to come home on Christmas Eve and we could enjoy Christmas as a family. I didn’t know then it would be our last with Charlie.
January soon came around, detox kicked in and the gym and running resumed. April was soon here and before I knew it, it was marathon day. I wasn’t sure if I’d trained enough or properly but what I did know was I was at the start line and I was doing this for my boys and to raise awareness for Muscular Dystrophy.
4hrs and 59 minutes later I finished minus a few toe nails but I finished, got the medal and enjoyed a beer on the seafront. The kids were so proud when I took the medal home, the look on their faces was priceless.
After having a week off to recover I was itching to get back at Basecamp plus I had another holiday booked for a couple of weeks after so wanted to refocus and get ‘holiday ready’. On 29th April Charlie had a fall in his room. I called an ambulance and he was taken to The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where they missed a fracture and sent him home, not happy I got a second opinion the following morning where they spotted the fracture straight away and Charlie was admitted onto the ward and put in plaster.
Over the next 24hrs Charlie deteriorated and sadly passed away on May 1st from what we know as a fat embolism. Fat had leaked from the fracture and clogged up his arteries. The right side of his heart had failed.
The rest of the family and siblings had gone on the holiday as planned, so I was at home and very lost, they were so far away.
I could not be bothered with anything or anyone. As the days passed I couldn’t wait to get the kids home and get in to a routine as best we could without Charlie and of course part of this routine was being at Basecamp and planning and prepping my KSFL style meals. I avoided town for as long as I could for fear of breaking down if anybody spoke to me. Basecamp was different, I could go there, take part in a class and leave. I f I want to talk about Charlie that’s fine but if I didn’t then that was fine too, it felt great to be back – something to distract me and something to focus on. Thrashing some weights around was very therapeutic and took my mind off the sad times temporarily.
Charlie’s funeral came and went and I sent him on his final journey with my marathon medal – after all I did it for him. I can imagine how proud he will be wearing it.
I couldn’t have done that marathon along, it was Basecamp and the whole KSFL lifestyle I took on that kept me fit and healthy to do it.
A group of us from Basecamp then ran Shrewsbury half marathon in memory of Charlie which was emotional for us all and James, Danni’s husband, took part in the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survivor Race to raise money and awareness for Muscular Dystrophy. The support and encouragement from Basecamp is amazing. If it wasn’t for them I’m sure I would have continued on my yo-yo dieting spiral and maybe wouldn’t have had the strength I’ve had to pull myself together after losing Charlie. 18 months after that very first detox I’m still going strong and maintaining a balance of training, eating real food and a little bit of time out every now and then I’ll be fuelled right and fit to do next year’s challenges where I’ll be running Brighton Marathon again and with other teams from Basecamp I’ll be doing the Superhuman Games. Charlie will be my motivation, Basecamp & KSFL –my support and lifestyle.
Thanks to Danni Evans and Charlie Bailey for sharing this emotional and inspiring story.
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